Flag of Laos

Laos forum

Taking classes in laos and vietnam

  • MariaT

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2009
    Posts: 3

    Hello everyone!

    I am planning a 1-2 month trip to laos and vietnam. I am trying to find out if there are any places in these countries that are offering any sorts of courses besides cooking, language or yoga classes.

    My idea for this trip is less traveling around and more finding a nice laid back place to stay for a longer period of time and exploring the surroundings and the culture little by little. I have seen posts about different courses one can do in ho chi min and in hanoi, but from what i understand these cities r very busy and noisy, and im not a city person, so i would like to find something smaller and surrounded by nature, so i could easily take go on short treks.

    I am especially interested in possibilities of taking classes in local arts and crafts, but i would be glad to hear about anything at all :) Also, if i find a workshop somewhere, is it possible to ask them for some sort of a private arrangement (im willing to pay of course), or is it very uncommon, and maybe even unacceptable?

    So if anyone has any ideas at all, ill be really glad to hear. Maybe someone has seen any posts anywhere in guesthouses or met someone who did something of that sort?

    Thanx!

    #1 Posted: 23/7/2009 - 09:37

  • Advertisement

  • MariaT

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd July, 2009
    Posts: 3

    sorry for posting both on laos and on vietnam boards, i tried to delete one of them, but couldnt find a way...:/

    #2 Posted: 23/7/2009 - 10:57

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    "I am especially interested in possibilities of taking classes in local arts and crafts"

    The challenge here would be language. Once you leave the cities and move into rural or provincial environments (like where I live) it gets tough to find things not in local language. That means all explaining is by doing - and that can be tougher than it sounds.

    I teach dance in provincial Thailand (right on the Lao border) and my language skills are barely adequate after two years here. Fortunately most (but not all) of my students speak some English.

    #3 Posted: 23/7/2009 - 19:10

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
    21st October, 2006
    Posts: 724
    Total reviews: 4
    Places visited:
    At least 67

    for Laos...

    there's at least one place each in Vientiane & Luang Prabang that hold dyeing & weaving classes for tourists, could be more but i don't know.
    see: www.houeyhongcentre.com/visit_the_centre.php & www.ockpoptok.com

    if you visit Luang Prabang in the last week of this coming Sept/first few days of this Oct, just look around for locals making lanterns & floats for Boun Ok Phansa & ask if you can learn. & all year round there are always people making temple offerings from folded banana leaves & flowers, & many Hmong women in the Luang Prabang night market selling the crafts they make...if you are adventurous & can find someone to translate, could try asking for informal lessons. think it's easier to find such opportunities when staying in a family-run guesthouse.

    #4 Posted: 23/7/2009 - 20:14

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 950

    Carole Cassidy runs a big weaving company in Vientiane. Most of what is produced there goes for export. I don't know whether she would be prepared to have you observe or take part, but you could try.

    #5 Posted: 24/7/2009 - 08:12

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    "Carole Cassidy runs a big weaving company in Vientiane."

    Rufus, it's a small world. Carole is my cousin.

    #6 Posted: 24/7/2009 - 12:41

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    Hi Maria,

    I too am not a city person, I'd suggest going to a smaller town. Everyone there will realize what you are interested in after you ask around.

    Travelfish has a good if brief description of a town I like here.

    http://www.travelfish.org/location/laos/northern_laos/luang_nam_tha/muang_long

    It's quiet and beautiful but they do have a few English speakers and guest houses and a couple of restaurants with English language menues. Most of the minorities still dress in traditional clothing so there is a lot of weaving going on for every day use. I like the things the Lanten make, thier baskets are absolutely gorgeous. If you look carefully you'll notice many people wearing home spun and woven cotton, and carrying woven baskets.

    The crafts shop mentioned is now a bank, but it has moved down the road, easy to find most whatever you are looking for after a day or two.

    #7 Posted: 25/7/2009 - 10:20

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 950

    ""Carole Cassidy runs a big weaving company in Vientiane."

    Rufus, it's a small world. Carole is my cousin."

    Really?? It is a small world.

    #8 Posted: 25/7/2009 - 13:34

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    I promised her I'd come visit pretty soon. I have to go to the States first to see my mother, but after that I'll be going to vientiane to visit her.

    #9 Posted: 25/7/2009 - 16:10

  • laos_info

    Joined Travelfish
    19th January, 2009
    Location Laos
    Posts: 13

    Would recommend getting in touch with Mrs Vandara who runs the Vanvisa Guesthouse in Luang Prabang. She does some weaving classes and is a lovely lady as well.

    #10 Posted: 26/7/2009 - 11:05

  • Advertisement

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 950

    Let me know when you are coming Mac, and we can have a beer. Maybe we can persuade Bruce to come over from Australia as well????

    #11 Posted: 26/7/2009 - 12:46

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6224
    Total reviews: 10

    Will do. That would be funny if we could time it with one of Bruces trips.

    #12 Posted: 26/7/2009 - 15:21

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
    1st March, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 563

    Back to Maria T's question....

    Look what I found on Travelfish.

    http://www.houeyhongcentre.com/index.php

    They teach how to weave and dye and all for an extremely reasonable price. Not very far from downtown actually but I'd think if you found a close by guest house things would get very quiet at night.

    http://www.houeyhongcentre.com/visit_the_centre.php

    #13 Posted: 25/8/2009 - 07:06

  • seagypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    5th February, 2009
    Posts: 136

    I think the same lady at Vanvisa (laos_info's #10) also teaches Lao cooking classes too. Her food is excellent and authentic. Perhaps you could arrange for a long term rental at Vanvisa in Luang Prabang. There are several textile places that offer Lao weaving courses too.

    #14 Posted: 25/8/2009 - 12:32

Have questions? Jump to our menu of forum quicklinks

Add your reply

Your reply

Check this box if you want to be notified of replies.

Please be familiar with our user guidelines before you post. Thanks!

Businesses planning on plugging their guesthouse / hotel / karaoke bar should read our "Addition guidelines" very carefully.

You need to be logged in to answer an existing post on the Travelfish forums. Please login via the prompts just above and refresh this screen -- before writing your post -- and you'll be in business.

Possibly related discussions Replies  Views  Latest reply
Taking classes in laos and vietnam ... By MariaT on 23 Jul 2009 0 1431 23 Jul 2009
Yoga Classes/Studios in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos ... By hfergu on 31 May 2010 1 4670 2 Jun 2010