Social Activities

The UXO-Visitor Information Center in the center of Phonsavan (opposite Craters restaurant) the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) informs about the UXO problematic in the province. MAG began its Lao program in 1994 and started the first internationally supported UXO clearance operation in Xieng Khouang. MAG works to help people to rebuild their lives and alleviates suffering by responding to the needs of conflict affected communities.

Local staff has been training to clear away the brush, to use a metal detector and recognize ordnance. Their village assisted clearance approach allows communities to participate in the process. Open Mon - Fri 8:00-20:00 and Sat/Sun 16:00-20:00

Next door is the UXO Survivor Information Center run by the World Education Consortium that is supported by various American government organizations and foundations. There is a small exhibition about how people deal with an UXO accident afterward. World Education helps people to recreate their livelihood after they have been injured by a bomb accident. The center's staff are UXO survivors themselves and can be approached to explain about the life of UXO victims. Donations and shopping in the gift shop are highly welcome. The center is associated with the ministry of health and rehabilitation.

The SOS orphanage in Xieng Khouang was founded 1998 to take care of the many children who lost their parents in accidents related to UXO. Today 145 children live in 12 family houses. The associated kundergarten and primary school are open to local children. You are welcome to visit the center during office hours Mon - Fri from 8:00-16:00, Check in at the administration building first.

Weddings, a central part of local life in Xieng Khouang start in November, with the peak season being January and March, ending around June (they are never held during the inauspicious months of July – October, which is Buddhist lent, and February, the month of the dog). For those interested in joining a wedding reception, one can inquire at the Mueang Phouan Hotel and the Xieng Khouang Mai Hotel, which hold receptions quite often during the wedding season. It is advised, however, that you bring a healthy appetite for family-style Lao food and a willingness to dance, sing and be merry. A small monetary gift to the newlyweds, placed in a white envelope, is also appreciated. Remember to dress politely: long pants/skirt and a clean shirt that covers both shoulders and chest.

Badminton.For those in need of exercise or simply interested in taking part in one of Lao people’s favorite modern sports, the Xieng Khouang Mai Hotel also has badminton courts open to the public. Rackets are available for rent on the premises. Players are required to bring their own sporting attire.