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Why Whisky Village (Ban Xang Hai village ) is special ?
A visit to Ban Xang Hai, also known as “the Whiskey Village” is usually included on boat trips to Pak Ou Caves.
Ban Xang Hai means jar-maker village. At one time, that was the industry here. Now the jars are brought in and the small community fills them with the white whisky (Lao Lao) that they make in the village. Archeologists have excavated pots beneath the village that could be 2000 or more years old. If you want to try some of the finest and strongest Lao Lao there is, you should take a trip here. (It’s best to go closer to midday or later if you want to try the local Lao Lao.)
You can also visit this interesting craft village via road from Luang Prabang town. Highlights here are the local whiskey or Lao Lao where all sorts of snakes, insects and bugs are fermented and mixed with the whiskey and sold in various shaped bottles. Lao Silk is also woven live in front of you by the locals. You can also buy fabrics and other crafts here.
What to explore at Whisky Village (Ban Xang Hai village )?
It’s a regular stop for boats going to the historical Pak Ou Caves, but can also be reached via a 30-minute car ride.
Here you can see the process of making lao-Lao, the country’s beloved rice whiskey second only to BeerLao in popularity. The village is very touristy but you might enjoy it as a short stop that’s part of a bigger trip.
At first sight Ban Xang Hai is your typical village: dogs sleep on the doorsteps of wooden houses, children play with an old tire, women do the laundry. However, the village is rightly known for its production for local rice wine. Our guide explains the distillation process of this local wine, which normally takes about three or four weeks to produce.
The production of rice wine requires sticky rice that is kept in a container that allows the air to come through. This way the rice becomes very dry. After this the rice is steamed in a bamboo basket and washed to get rid of its stickiness.
The next step is to add yeast and leave it to ferment for about three weeks. After this, the fermented rice is boiled in a big tank with a filter inside that allows the steam to gather. The cooled off rice wine is now ready for drinking.
Sometimes dead snakes, centipedes or cockroaches add to the flavor.
Khiri Travel advises guests to come here in the afternoon. Clients can take part in a Lao laow(alcohol) tasting experience. Those who really enjoy rice wine can purchase a bottle to share with friends back home.
- Never miss a marketing opportunity
- An exactly experience
- Place to try all the delicious taste of wine
- Well worth to take a look
- Do not missed if you are lover Alcohol
Luang Prabang, Laos
Tips for you
We dropped by on the way back from riding elephants and ending up spending half an hour here. This wee village is lined with stalls filled with items which the locals have handcrafted. It's nice to take your time and wander around and hopefully contribute to the local economy to these talented people who deserve your custom. No need to haggle over prices for what is pennies to us but much needed for them. We got two beautiful handmade silk scarves for 40,000 kip, lovely gifts to post home to grannies. I did feel a shade of guilt as I couldn't buy from everyone as this village really does rely on passing tourist to purchase their wares. What we found was good quality and tremendous value. Many people have mentioned the home-brew which you can sample and purchase, we really liked the rice wine and bought some for Christmas! Don't miss this!