It's possible to watch the women working on their loom and observe the entire silk-making process from silkworm, through to dyeing and weaving, to wall hanging the final product in the village of Ban Phanom.
As expected, you can buy textiles here, though prices start high and you'll need to bargain hard. The villages have a very touristy feel about them and are a common early morning stop (09:00-10:00) on the package tourist circuit.
Shopping aside, they make an interesting destination for a challenging bike ride and the towns have some very old and untouristed temples. Most people who arrive on bicycle or motorbike will breeze through quite quickly and head onto the next sight along this road â€“ Henri Mouhot's grave.
How to get there
It is possible to bicycle here, though it's a long and hilly ride. Be sure to get a well-marked map and bring plenty of water. Otherwise, a tuk tuk should set you back about 100,000 kip including waiting time. Another option is to arrange a ride through one of the many tour companies around town.
Whichever way you go, the village can easily be combined with a trip to Mouhot's grave and are sometimes included in organised local treks.
Last updated on 24th February, 2013.