Elephant at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury, Laos
Vacations to Sayaboury, Laos
Sayaboury is a mountainous province in the northwest of Laos, renowned for its elephant population. Like elsewhere across the region, elephant numbers are dwindling, so in 2011 the Elephant Conservation Center was set up to welcome and protect elephants that have previously worked in mass tourism or logging industries. The center promotes elephant welfare, encourages natality and has a re-herding program to help the elephants recreate their social bonds. Visitors are invited to observe the elephants in the on-site nursery, hospital and socialization area and can stay for the day, or overnight to participate in some of the center's activities.
The National Protected Area of Nam Phui is also in the Sayaboury area. Characterized by steep and rugged ridges, mostly of Mesozoic sandstone and shale that are covered in bamboo and teak forest. Wild elephants have made their home here, along with tigers, black bears, silver langurs and lar gibbons. It’s also said that the Sumatran rhino is found there too.
In Sayaboury itself, you’ll find a handful of temples that are worth a look if you find yourself in the town – in particular, look for Wat Sibounheuang. Located on a hilltop overlooking the Nam Houng River, it’s Sayaboury’s oldest temple and houses a seven meter long reclining golden Buddha.