Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Khmu culture and lifestyle

Shortly after breakfast we meet Ken of Samlaan Cycling and started with our visit of one of the oldest and largest communities and original inhabitants of Laos - the Khmu. The Khmu are an agricultural society, but also gathering, hunting, trapping and fishing are important parts of their lifestyle. Their language is also called Khmu and belongs to the Austro-Asiatic group of languages.

We departed from Muang La resort in the morning and enjoyed a pleasant transfer along the scenic Nam Pak.

Along the way we encountered rice terraces, small settlements and houses of the Khmu minority. In Ban Mai, a small Khmu hamlet, we walked through the village and interact with locals. After observing their daily life we then continued to Ban Phavie.

We trekked on a small green path along a little creek. We had the opportunity to meet farmers working in rice paddies and found some bird and fish traps.

After 1 hour and a half walk through the green forest, we arrived at the Khmu village of Ban Phavie, beautifully nestled in the end of a green valley situated at a small creek.

The local villagers prepared a traditional lunch for us: Laap Gai, some freshly collected mushrooms and vegetables and yes, of course also sticky rice. During the preparation of the meal we learned about the Khmu tradition of trapping and hunting. We observed and tested small little traps while they have been shown and explained to us.
After lunch we continued to a small clear waterfall just a little outside the village. We relaxed for a while at the cascades of the waterfall.

Then we returned to Muang La.

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