Ban Xang Khong Village
You cannot miss having "Ban Xang Khong" on the list of places to visit during your trip to Laos. Xang Khong is a charming village located 5km east from the heart of Luang Prabang city and on the banks of the Mekong River, close to the Pak Ou caves. It is very famous for its traditional Sa paper making.
The Sa is a kind of specific and unique paper in Laos. It is made of fresh flowers, leaves and bark of the mulberry tree. After 15 minutes of treatment, the fresh flower paintings will be dried. Then they are used as a material to produce lanterns, photo frames, postcards, book covers or bags for sale to tourists.
This type of paper can keep the natural color of the flowers and leaves for about 3 years without using any chemicals. Sa paper has hundreds of years of history in Laos and is a widespread article in the artisan shops in Laos.
To this day local people still use simple and rudimental tools while making paper. Most of them live by weaving and displaying silk scarves for sale in the Luang Prabang night market . If you want it is possible to participate in a design of the cotton or silk scarf.
Sa paper is also known in Thailand, but 80 percent of the mulberry bark for making paper in Thailand comes from Laos. The three provinces of Laos: Luang Prabang, Oudomxay and Xayaburi are the largest suppliers.
In conclusion, we could say that this village is worth a visit, not only thanks to its famous trade, but also to the warm villagers. Indeed, you could be invited to their home, to taste their local alcohols and their other specialties as a guest. But it should be noted that their beverages are quite strong.