Best time to visit Laos

Culture and Lifestyle of Khmu

How far will you go to dive into ancient cultures?

Culture and Lifestyle of Khmu in Laos 2020 - Best Time
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© Pablo Fernández

The major cities of Laos mostly adhere to Buddhism, meanwhile, villages and ethnic communities are good places to observe ancient pagan customs. Probably, the best place for this is home to the largest and one of the oldest minorities in Laos—the Khmu.

Weaving bamboo nets 2020
Weaving bamboo nets

The Khmu count for more than half a million people and the majority live in Oudomxay Province in Northern Laos. This area is very mountainous, which makes infrastructure development rather difficult. Thus visiting Khmu in the rainy season may require good preparation and even some guidance from locals.

Culture and Lifestyle of Khmu in Laos - Best Season 2020

The Khmu are famous for many things. Their intricate bamboo and rattan baskets, which are woven only by men between June and August, can be found all around Laos. Some old Khmu people have their bodies fully tattooed and smoke tobacco from silver pipes.

Best time for Culture and Lifestyle of Khmu in Laos 2020

Very intriguing are the animist traditions of Khmu, so be sure to find out as much as possible about them, so that you won't be too shocked with what you see. For example, buffalo sacrifice still occurs when a serious disease has to be cured.