Ban Xang Hai, famously known as “Whiskey Village”, is a Lao Loum village situated on the east riverbank of the Mekong. It is one-and-a-half hours north of Luang Prabang by boat but can also be visited by land. Ban Xang Hai’s close proximity to Pak Ou caves make this village a more touristy stop on the cruise to Pak Ou caves.
Ban Xang Hai’s notoriety comes from producing Lao Lao whiskey. Undoubtedly, an integral part of Lao culture that the locals take pride in. Lao Lao is still being produced using traditional methods. The process begins with sticky rice going through a fermentation period. In due time, the concoction is boiled, filtered, and left to cool. Voila…Lao Lao whiskey!
Upon arrival to the village, guests are greeted by local whiskey makers happy to let you taste the different flavors. The villagers of Ban Xang Hai also sell textiles, handicrafts and small trinkets. Women can be seen at their looms throughout the village. The village boast an ornate temple worthy of a stroll.
Overall, Ban Xan Hai offers visitors a chance to witness the traditional methods of making Lao Lao whiskey while sampling product straight from the source.
Food for thought…
Although many beautifully hand-crafted textiles are made locally in the Ban Xang Hai, not all textiles being sold are products of Laos.
Visitors will not miss the multitude of snakes, scorpions and other insects that are placed into many Lao Lao bottles being sold. Please be aware that the respect for wildlife in Laos is very low and we discourage buying products with any animal parts.
Laos still remains to have serious problems of poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking. Endangered wildlife parts can be seen in some store fronts in Ban Xang Hai village. We respectfully ask that under no circumstances should you sample whiskey containing such parts or purchase anything that encourages this behavior.
Bounmi is made up of a team of Mekong river specialists who have built a reputation for delivering exceptional Mekong river experiences.