Houey Hong Vocational Training Center for Women
One of Laos' most popular activities for female tourists in recent years is a trip to the wonderful Houey Hong Vocational Training Center for Women. The centre's mission is to provide education and training to Lao women from disadvantaged backgrounds, to help assimilate them into the contemporary economy by teaching them the skills of natural dyeing, traditional Lao weaving, tailoring and small business administration. The centre is thus an important contributor to the Laos government's initiative of sustainable development in the local craft and tourism sectors of the economy. Visitors to the Houey Hong Centre are not just casual observers: rather, they partake in half- or full-day courses of their choice, in which they too are taught skills ranging from tie-dyeing silks to traditional Lao weaving using a loom. The Houey Hong Centre is a short (20-minute) tuk-tuk ride from downtown Vientiane and provides tourists to Laos with an unforgettable experience of traditional textile manufacturing, not to mention the chance to contribute sustainably to the upliftment of the local population. The best part? You get to keep whatever you make during your time at the centre to show off to your friends back home. These crafts produce the most appealing souvenirs.
Opening times: Open Monday to Saturday, from 8.30am to 4.30pm (Email ahead for a booking)
Admission: Prices vary, but are about 100,000 Kip for a half-day at the centre; and 200,000 Kip for a full day