Also known as the Boun Bang Fai, you can expect music, drinking, dancing and explosive action at Vang Vieng's Rocket Festival.
- When? 1st May - June 30th 2017
- Where? Vang Vieng
- Price: Free
You'll wish you hadn't drank too many beers the night before if you attend the Boun Bang Fai. Vang Vieng is full of rocket men every May when the clouds are fired upon in an attempt to puncture their rain laden bodies.
This traditional Buddhist festival takes place because the Lao people believe that sending the rockets up into the sky is a subtle signal to higher powers that they are ready for the wet season. The aim is to get your rocket as high as possible and generally speaking, the bigger the rocket - the better. Perhaps due to the lack of space suits, men don women's clothes as they busy themselves about their rocket's trajectory.
Whilst there are prizes given to those that get their rocket the highest, other prize-worthy achievements include being the most entertaining or having the best decorated rocket.
Platforms are constructed from which they attach their home-made bamboo rockets and loud music is played as the crafts take off to explode in the sky. Failure to detonate means the owner gets covered in mud and forced to drink rice whisky. Keep in mind that during the festival the tubing scene is on hiatus and that the bigger is better rule does not apply to the buckets (of the alcohol kind).
Dancing, drinking and eating all have important parts to play in this festival, but the main event is most certainly the releasing of the rockets. The exact date of the festival varies each year and between towns, as the best time to release the rockets is decided by the local spirit-person.
Ground control to major Tom. Commencing countdown, dresses on.
- Get there: Fly into Vientiane then take a bus to Vang Vieng (approx. 3 hours).
- Stay: Find accommodation in the centre of Vang Vieng to be at the heart of the festivities.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!