Buffalo and Boat Battles, Vietnam and Laos

July 11, 2013 by | Filed Under: Authentic Experiences, Festivals, Laos, News, Vietnam

Khiri Travel Vietnam and Laos would like to draw your attention to the annual Buffalo Fighting Festival in Do Son and the Boat Racing Festival in Luang Prabang that will take place this September.

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First the Boat Racing Festival on the Khan River in Luang Prabang takes place on 3 September. The festival marks the end of the rainy season and helps to lure Nagas (mythical serpent guardians of the river) out of flooded rice fields and back into the river. Typically each village will have their own boat and rowers, competing for the grand prize of fastest boat in a series of heats. Join along with locals as they celebrate and cheer on their village team.

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A couple of miles eastwards, Do Son city celebrates its annual Buffalo Fighting Festival on 9 September. This festival is associated with the worshipping of water gods and has been an annual event since the 18th century. According to legend (which talks about two buffaloes fighting on the waves of the sea, creating a long-desired rainfall), the best-trained and strongest buffalo of two teams are taken into a fighting ring during a colorful and abundant procession. After a battle, the winning buffalo is worshipped as he represents the ascendant spirit.

Khiri Travel has crafted an 11-day program in which a visit to both festivals is combined. As always, Khiri is happy to adjust this program or design other packages tailored to your clients’ needs.

02 September – Luang Prabang – Arrive in Luang Prabang and enjoy the rest of the day in this charming riverside town.
03 September – Luang Prabang – This morning we visit a colorful local market that is set up especially for the festival. It stretches all down the main street, from the Post Office down to That Luang and displays all manner of local goods. We also explore the city center and the mystical pilgrimage site of Pak Ou Caves during a relaxing boat trip. In the afternoon we are treated to a traditional baci ceremony at a private family home.
04 September – Luang Prabang – We visit the Kuang Si Waterfall where we can have a refreshing swim and also take time to walk around in the nearby Sunbear Refuge. Our guide makes sure we’re back in town on time for the Boat Racing Festival on the Khan River.
05 September – Luang Prabang – Today we tour the elephant project investing in eco-programs to give Lao elephants a new home. Venturing into the beautiful Lao countryside, stop at the cascade falls of Tad Sae before returning to the camp and back to town.
06 September – Luang Prabang – Clients have time to relax on their own, enjoying the quiet charms of this beautiful city.
07 September – Luang Prabang to Hanoi – Today we fly to Hanoi, northern capital of Vietnam.
08 September – Hanoi to Do Son – In the morning we spend time to discover Hanoi’s highlights and see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and his house on stilts. We take clients to see the One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, and the Ethnology Museum. After lunch, we make a scenic drive along rivers and fruit plantations to the coastal town of Do Son.
09 September – Do Son – It’s the celebration of the Buffalo Fighting Festival in Do Son today. We explore the festival grounds and enjoy lunch together with the locals. (There is no harm done to the buffaloes; they are well taken care of by the locals.)
10 September – Do Son to Ha Long Bay – A short drive takes us to the pier from where we depart on an overnight boat trip to take in the magical scene of hundreds of limestone karst islands at Ha Long Bay.
11 September – Ha Long Bay to Hanoi – We continue our cruise, enjoy a generous brunch and return to the harbor for a drive back to Hanoi.
12 September – Hanoi – After breakfast we arrange for a transfer to Noi Bai Airport for a flight home.

For more information and bookings, please contact sales.laos@khiri.com and/or sales.vietnam@khiri.com.

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