Outside of Luang Prabang, this is the only village in Laos that continues to produce pottery the traditional way. They dig the soil, creating a hole they will use for a kiln, and process the earth completely by hand.

How to get there: Ban Nangoua is about 5 kilometers east of the municipal center.
Set in a thick forest conservation area with some 72 types of medicinal herbs, the Herbal Spa Center (under construction in 2010) offers traditional Lao massages and steam baths some 13 kilometers south of Sayabouly District. The spa also presents a charming setting for meditation, and medicinal herbal treks and boat rides are being developed in the area, during which you may spot monkeys.

And the saying, “getting there is half the fun”, certainly applies to the Herbal Health Spa trip, especially on a motorbike during dry season. From Sayabouly Town rent a small motorbike (tour guides required) or book a two-day package tour that includes a 90-minute car ride along a mountainous road and across rivers until reaching Ban Nathang. Stop for lunch and a rest before embarking on a two-hour walk through rice paddies, forested hills (keep your eyes open for monkeys!), and rock formations.

On the way visit Tham Phakounhouay cave to view impressive limestone formations, and for the more adventurous and fit, follow the cave’s stream that runs for several kilometers through the extensive cavern network. After this venture, continue to the Khmu village of Ban Keo for dinner, Lao Hai (rice wine) and an overnight stay.

The next day, catch a boat and cruise through the district’s remarkable nature. After the one-hour ride, you’ll stop at Ban Pakhoung for a brief visit, change boats, and then head to Houaynamsay and the Herbal Spa Center. There you will experience a traditional Lao massage and relax before returning to Sayabouly Town.

How to get there: Drive south past the Sayabouly bus station towards Paklay for some 10 kilometers, and turn left at the signs for the spa and Ban Houaykeng. The Herbal Spa Center is 3 kilometers from the main road.
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Tourism Marketing Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism
Lane Xang Avenue, Hatsadi Village,Chanthabouly District, Vientiane Capital
Tel/Fax: +856-21-212248
Email: info@tourismlaos.org
Website: www.tourismlaos.org