Chiang Mai – Attapeu Via Siphandon (Mekong 4000 Islands) Return

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Subscribed
Jan 16, 2003
13,511
4,498
113
68
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Pakxe - Savannakhet

267188=2882-pakxe-savannakhet-profile.jpg


Ex Pakxe: 11.55AM = we weren't in a rush.
Arrival Savannakhet: 3.10PM
Average Speed: 75 kph

The Savannakhet river front boulevard

267188=2892-img_5659.jpg


267188=2893-img_5660.jpg


The French took control of the Savannakhet area in 1893 & upgraded it to a province in 1907.
There are many old dilapidated colonial buildings left, some of them quite beautiful; & worthy of restoring.

267188=2894-img_5690.jpg


267188=2895-img_5691.jpg


267188=2896-img_5697.jpg


267188=2897-img_5705.jpg


267188=2898-img_5703.jpg


267188=2900-img_5699.jpg


An old building, renovated & turned into a nice coffee shop / restaurant by Thai people.

267188=2899-img_5700.jpg


The sign posting in Savannakhet was excellent.

267188=2901-img_5698.jpg
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Subscribed
Jan 16, 2003
13,511
4,498
113
68
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
Laha Sin Weaving Centre
Savannakhet
N16 33.410 E104 45.436

Hundreds of years ago, the Phuthai people settled along the Banghiang River in Savannakhet Province in central Laos. For centuries, the Phouthai women have woven fabrics using natural dyes and fibres from the surrounding forests. Today, through Madam Songbandith, the Director of Thong Laha Sinh Company, these cotton fibres had brought to the peoples of the world under the Laha label. All the fabrics are handspun and woven from unique organically grown Lao cotton, using indigo and other natural dyes. Thong Laha Sinh draws a diverse clientele of people around the world, which interested in Preserve Environment and Natural dyed for healthy lifestyle. The “Eco-friendly” concept is the center of development projects. A part of our mission is to support the sustainable development of local people in the use of locally available raw materials while preserving their valuable traditional culture, also eradicating poverty. One project is the promotion of hand-woven textiles of the Phuthai ethic group, who have been living along the Xepon River in Savannakhet province, central Laos, for centuries.
267369=2964-img_5731.jpg


267369=2966-img_5735.jpg


267369=2963-img_5730.jpg


267369=2965-img_5726.jpg


267369=2967-img_5761.jpg


267369=2969-img_5758.jpg


267369=2968-img_5739.jpg


267369=2970-img_5747.jpg


267369=2971-img_5769.jpg


267369=2972-img_5777.jpg


Thanks again Jerome for showing me around.
 

Rhodie

Ol'Timer
Mar 5, 2006
842
5
18
Davidfl;267119 wrote: PAKXE
8th February 2011

267768=3243-img_5341.jpg
An excellent thread showing how much development has occurred in past few years.
You've found some real gems, that deserve further exploration - the zip-line experience looks cracking fun.
I see you have employed the old National Geographic trick of placing a subject wearing red into the pic for dramatic effect!
:mrgreen:
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Subscribed
Jan 16, 2003
13,511
4,498
113
68
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
The 4000 Island get a bridge, linking Don Khong with the main land.
Officially opened on 23.11.32014.
(KPL) The opening of a 718-metre bridge across the Mekong River, linking Khong Island to the mainland of Champassak Province was officially opened for public use on November 23 to boost trade, investment, tourism, and to drive growth in the southern region.

The new bridge, which was largely funded by the Chinese government, will enable the inhabitants of the 10 villages on Khong Island (Khong district) to better connect with the mainland. They were previously only able to make the river crossing by ferry, which was time-consuming and inefficient.

Visitors to the island, which is a popular tourist spot, also had to catch a ferry, while boats transported all vehicles and supplies.
In his address at the opening ceremony, Minister of Public Works and Transport Dr Bounchan Sinthavong said that Chinese financial support has been significant for socio-economic development and the growth of trade and tourism in the south of Laos. The bridge will make travel to and from the island much easier, as well as the transport of goods, he added.

"It will significantly contribute to greater socio-economic development, trade, investment, and tourism in the southern region in particular and Laos as a whole,"he said. ?It will also improve local livelihoods."

Built at a cost of more than US$34.12 million (more than 273.9 billion kip), 95 percent of the financing was provided by a long-term, low interest loan from China?s Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank). The remaining 5 percent, amounting to US$1.7 million, was provided by the Lao government.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Governor of Champassak province Dr Bounthong Divixay also stressed the significance of the bridge in boosting development in the area.

He described China's support as 'valuable assistance'and thanked the government of China and Exim Bank for their contribution.
"This assistance is a tremendous contribution to infrastructure development. Slowly but surely it will help local communities to boost their income and improve their standard of living,"Dr Bounthong said. He pledged that Champassak would make good use of the bridge to drive development and attend to its maintenance so that it will be operational for many years to come.

Champassak considers the bridge to be a symbol of the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Laos and China, the governor added.?The bridge, which is 11 metres wide, took 34 months to complete.

Among the guests at the function were Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing, and other officials from Laos and China.
It's all starting to get a lot easier & the sooner you head to the pristine 4000 Islands the better.
Enjoy...hit the road for the 4000 Islands Soon.
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Subscribed
Jan 16, 2003
13,511
4,498
113
68
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com


The Laha Story


Seven shades of indigo
laha.jpg


In spiritual terms, indigo is the colour of intuition and perception. In fashion terms, it’s synonymous with denim – deep of hue and naturally dyed.

It’s also one of the seven colours of the rainbow and has up to seven of its own distinct shades. But did you know that indigo also has mosquito repelling properties, and helps reduce perspiration. It’s for these reasons, and more, that indigo, derived from the plant of the same name, has been intricately linked to the livelihoods of Lao people for generations. In Laos, indigo is often dubbed “the living colour”, because of the procedures involved in its cultivation, a complex process that involves extracting the liquid from the plant leaves and fermenting it, until a chemical process turns it from a murky yellow to the deep indigo hue. During this process, great care is taken to ensure the colour does not “die” at each step, and it is then prized for its various practical, rather than simply aesthetic, qualities.

This is especially true for rice farmers, who often wear cotton dyed with natural Indigo. But today, all over the world, fashionable young things are toting bags and wearing jeans and shirts made from “natural-dyed indigo” and hailing from the popular Japanese chain store Muji, which has more than 470 branches worldwide. Most people are unaware of the brand’s long-established link with a workshop in southern Laos, home of the Thonglahasinh Company, which today exports several textile products to Japan.

According to the company’s founder, Bounthong Yodmankhong, the road to this point has been long and winding, beginning when he set up the company with his wife, Songbandith, almost 30 years ago.

laha-2-1024x683.jpg


Back in 1990, Thongsavanhxay Company, as it was then known, began life as a garment factory in Savannakhet, exporting products to Europe. But when the European Union cancelled a special tax exemption, many foreign investors in Laos had to move their operations to China and Vietnam. Thongsavanhxay was among many local operations that were forced to close. But Bounthong says the move also forced him and his wife to change their business focus, and concentrate more on locally made products that reflected Lao culture.

Songbandith hails from Ban Laha, a small village in Savannakhet Province that has long been associated with indigo and cotton farming. Due to a family heritage of work in the area, she had hundreds of rolls of vintage fabrics scattered throughout the family home. It was these that caught the eye of Maki, a visiting conservationist and textiles expert from Japan, who was introduced to the family by an expert from JICA.

Mr Maki was interested in Lao weaving culture and saw the beautiful fabrics we’d collected,” Bounthong says.
laha-1-1024x683.jpg


“He wanted to understand more about the traditional weaving methods of the villagers of Laha from the village elders, and especially about the traditional indigo dyeing methods.”

The idea was to revive the traditional heritage of indigo and Lao cotton weaving, and combine it with modern designs, in a joint Lao-Japanese enterprise. After several years of studying and refining the local craft, the project, led by Bounthong and Maki, was able to export products to Yukenled, a leading import company in Japan, in 1997.

From this, the local Thonglahasing, or ‘Laha’ brand was born, an enterprise that was now large enough to export its products and gain international recognition. From then on, Bounthong regularly attended international textile exhibitions and trade shows, and it was while attending an exhibition in Japan in 2012 that he met a representative of Muji.

“He was interested in collaborating with the business, and said Muji had been monitoring Laha’s progress for the past 12 years,” Bounthong says.

This partnership led Bounthong, along with the general manager of Muji, on a study tour to India to research traditional Indian methods of indigo dyeing.

“When working with the Japanese, every step must be very detailed and meticulous in order to satisfy their quality standards,” Bounthong says.

“But this didn’t put us off at Laha – we’ve worked hard over the years to prove ourselves to Muji and maintain the relationship.”

Nowadays, the Thonglahasinh Company fills orders worth US$2 million a year for Muji, with the most popular item a simple denim tote bag in varying shades of indigo. The company sends off more than 1 million of these each year, alongside limited edition scarves, pillowcases and cushion covers.

“These products are limited because of the precision required in weaving and dyeing according to Japanese standards, which takes time,” Bounthong says.

“But we’re told they’re highly prized by Japanese customers.”

Today, Bounthong is wearing one of his own indigo shirts – faded and softly worn with age – and muses that the business of textiles is both beautiful and multi-faceted. An avid photographer in his spare time, he says the patience and attention to detail required to capture the perfect image is similar to producing beautiful cotton and indigo fabrics. And both require an appreciation for beauty that millions of people, the world over, can now share.


Source: Champa Meuanglao
Images: Phoonsab Thevongsa​
 

DavidFL

Administrator
Staff member
Subscribed
Jan 16, 2003
13,511
4,498
113
68
Chiang Khong
www.thegtrider.com
DON DET - VEUN KHAM - KHONEPHAPENG - PAKXE
3rd February 2011
with only 1 night on Don Det I was somewhat sad to be leaving I was that impressed with the island & scenery = I will have to go back.

So back to the mainland

View attachment 48947

Once on the mainland it was down to Veun Kham to check on the Laos - Cambodian border crossing.
And what a contrast the scenery is

The new border checkpoint facilities being built

View attachment 48948
photo above, the view looking south.

Looking back north to the asphalt & Pakxe

View attachment 48949

The old & current Laos immigration border checkpoint "shed."

View attachment 48950
swamped with backpackers & no doubt heading to Don Det. Lucky guys & gals!

The Mekong at Veun Kham

View attachment 48951
Cambodia is on the other side.

10 kms north of the border crossing is the Khonephapeng falls: the biggest falls on the Mekong.

View attachment 48952

A google earth view of what they look like in the wet season

View attachment 48953

AND in the dry season

View attachment 48954

View attachment 48955

View attachment 48956

View attachment 48957

View attachment 48958

the view downstream

View attachment 48959

visit the falls, leave your luggage in the gift shop

View attachment 48960
and hope that security does not nod off on the job.

Less than 3 kms north of the falls is a huge new Korean Golf Course & Resort
Even if you're not into golf, the resort location is stunning & worth checking out.

A restaurant balcony view

View attachment 48961

The river, bright & clean

View attachment 48962

a somewhat dark skinned Mekong river kid

View attachment 48963
must be spending a bit of time in the great Mekong outdoors I reckon.

and here it is

View attachment 48964
what a carefree life fishing the 'Khong like that everyday.
So lucky.

Lucky lung with the river kids

View attachment 48965
note the boat sailing by in the background.

Looking for a spot to post the alarming news about the 4000 redevelopment project compliments of a 50 year lease by a Chinese company.
Another disneyland disaster in a pristine environment.

1659606861319.png


The Sithandone Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in southern Laos is starting construction of two major development projects after the completion of a land survey carried out by Zone officials and the government.
One of the developments is a grandiose hotel close to the Mekong River and the Khonphapheng Falls, built in the shape of two khaen and believed to be the tallest building in Laos.
The other is a warehouse, which is aimed at improving logistics in the area and fostering regional trade, according to the Zone’s Facebook page “Four Thousand Islands”.
The construction cost of the two projects has not been revealed, but they are part of the first phase of development of the Sithandone SEZ, which began in 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2025, with an estimated value of about US$600 million.
The 238.98 metre hotel is designed in the shape of two khaen (Laos’ iconic traditional pipe instrument) and will be a ‘valuable musical heritage’ for the Lao people.
An official from the Zone, Mr Xu Liang, said the survey for the hotel was expected to be complete in September and the ground-breaking ceremony for the start of construction will take place after the rainy season.
The hotel, which will contain restaurants and host tourism-related activities, is intended to welcome visitors from Southeast Asian countries and beyond.
The top floor will have a viewing platform that overlooks the spectacular Mekong River and across to the Cambodian border.
The warehouse is located 3km from the Laos-Cambodia border, with the first phase of development to cover an area of 120,000 square metres. The project will comprise a warehouse, customs office, company dormitories, a cold storage area and other facilities.
The warehouse will be a key logistics hub for trade between Laos, China, Thailand and Cambodia.
The Sithandone SEZ is located in Khong district, a large island in the Mekong River in Champassak province and a hub for visitors to the Khonphapheng Falls, the biggest waterfall in Southeast Asia.
The falls are just over 100km from the provincial capital of Pakxe and close to the Laos-Cambodia border. Officials say the thundering cascade is a massive tourist draw and was considered an appropriate site for the SEZ as it would bring more business to the area.
The master plan of the Sithandone SEZ features several high rises that will serve as hotels, restaurants, a shopping centre and other tourism-related businesses.
In the first phase of the project (2018-2025), the developer will install the necessary infrastructure including roads, water supply and drainage. The second phase may include an airport because of the intended scale of the project.
This year, the developer plans to build facilities on an area of 66 hectares. The construction of a golf course and fishing lake is already complete.
Source: Vientiane Times 3 August 2022.


1659607248052.png


1659607091559.png

See also






Make sure you hit southern Laos & the 4000 Islands as soon as possible.
 

Eoin Christie

Ol'Timer
Subscribed
Jul 16, 2019
430
286
63
Looking for a spot to post the alarming news about the 4000 redevelopment project compliments of a 50 year lease by a Chinese company.
Another disneyland disaster in a pristine environment.

View attachment 148407

The Sithandone Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in southern Laos is starting construction of two major development projects after the completion of a land survey carried out by Zone officials and the government.
One of the developments is a grandiose hotel close to the Mekong River and the Khonphapheng Falls, built in the shape of two khaen and believed to be the tallest building in Laos.
The other is a warehouse, which is aimed at improving logistics in the area and fostering regional trade, according to the Zone’s Facebook page “Four Thousand Islands”.
The construction cost of the two projects has not been revealed, but they are part of the first phase of development of the Sithandone SEZ, which began in 2018 and is scheduled for completion in 2025, with an estimated value of about US$600 million.
The 238.98 metre hotel is designed in the shape of two khaen (Laos’ iconic traditional pipe instrument) and will be a ‘valuable musical heritage’ for the Lao people.
An official from the Zone, Mr Xu Liang, said the survey for the hotel was expected to be complete in September and the ground-breaking ceremony for the start of construction will take place after the rainy season.
The hotel, which will contain restaurants and host tourism-related activities, is intended to welcome visitors from Southeast Asian countries and beyond.
The top floor will have a viewing platform that overlooks the spectacular Mekong River and across to the Cambodian border.
The warehouse is located 3km from the Laos-Cambodia border, with the first phase of development to cover an area of 120,000 square metres. The project will comprise a warehouse, customs office, company dormitories, a cold storage area and other facilities.
The warehouse will be a key logistics hub for trade between Laos, China, Thailand and Cambodia.
The Sithandone SEZ is located in Khong district, a large island in the Mekong River in Champassak province and a hub for visitors to the Khonphapheng Falls, the biggest waterfall in Southeast Asia.
The falls are just over 100km from the provincial capital of Pakxe and close to the Laos-Cambodia border. Officials say the thundering cascade is a massive tourist draw and was considered an appropriate site for the SEZ as it would bring more business to the area.
The master plan of the Sithandone SEZ features several high rises that will serve as hotels, restaurants, a shopping centre and other tourism-related businesses.
In the first phase of the project (2018-2025), the developer will install the necessary infrastructure including roads, water supply and drainage. The second phase may include an airport because of the intended scale of the project.
This year, the developer plans to build facilities on an area of 66 hectares. The construction of a golf course and fishing lake is already complete.
Source: Vientiane Times 3 August 2022.


View attachment 148409

View attachment 148408
See also






Make sure you hit southern Laos & the 4000 Islands as soon as possible.
I'm not sure I want to live on the same planet as the money-hungry bastards that think up these blights on natural beauty.