Phongsaly is well-known for its colorfully dressed minorities. The population is officially made up of 28 different ethnic groups, but if we were to count them in the way the people identify themselves there would be more than 40. Many of them came from elsewhere, mostly from China, fleeing wars and famine during the 19th Century. In Phongsaly Town, the two main ethnic groups are the Phunoy, and the Hor, descendants of the old Yunnan traders. Thai Dam people are mostly found in Muang Mai district; Yao, Hor and Lolo people in Gnot Ou district. Many Khmu live in Muang Khua and Samphan districts. There are at least 14 different groups of Akha and related people. Most of their villages are remote and up in the mountains, some of them creacting a perfect trekking destination. Akha people practice spirit worship and several taboos are to be respected in their villages. The Museum of Phongsaly Ethnic Groups provides detailed information about the different ethnic groups, their origin and way of life.

Unless many other cities in Laos, Phongsaly town has not been destroyed by bombing during in the American war. It features a remaining old quarter with Yunnanese wooden architecture now rare to find in Yunnan itself. Most of the people living here belong to the Hor ethnic group, speaking Chinese. Until the 1970s there had been a Chinese consulate in Phongsaly town, and now is  the ‘Phou Fa Hotel’.


The Museum of Phongsaly Ethnic Groups’ newly-designed exhibition has been inaugurated in January 2013. It presents the province and its people, their origin and way of life. It also includes information and exhibits about.....


Useful Link: http://phongsaly.net/
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