Laos museum, parks & temple visit - travel journal


Laos group
On Thursday 29 June 2017, Peuan Mit took a group of 42 (18 girls) children & youths aged 10-21 on an excursion to Kaysone Phomvihane museum, Buddha Park (Wat Xieng Khuan), Inpeng Ethnic Cultural Park, Thaddluang stupa, and Thadluang Lake Special Economic Zone in Laos. Accompanied by 4 social workers (2 females) and 1 medical assistant, the trip was led by a driver from Buffalo Tours, our social workers and the site tour guide funded by Responsible travel.

25 of the children and youths participated in the trip were the children staying in the Peuan Mit Transitional home and the rest came from the community close by where our Peuan Mit outreach team works with to prevent more children resorting to street work.

Journal:

8am: the Buffalo Tours bus picked up the group from Transitional home in Sisaket village and headed to pick up another group in Nongduang village. All the time in the bus our social worker organized games, stories telling, questions, songs and information for each visiting location to entertain the children and youths.

9am: The first stop was Kaysone Phomvihane Museum, the group spent around 2 hours there. The museum’s tour guide provided the information about the museum that was established to give honour to Laos’s revolutionary leader and former President, Kaysone Phomvihane.

Arriving at the museumBuddha Park
11am: From Kaysone Phomvihane museum the group moved to Buddha Park. The social workers provided lunch boxes in the bus and everyone had their lunch in the bus while moving to the park as it was raining! It took one hour to travel to the park. The group arrived at Buddha park at 1pm and stayed there for one hour and a half. The staff from the park talked to the children about the sculptures, and all the children and youths were very amazed by the big sculpture garden.

2:30pm: The group arrived another location called Inpeng National Ethnic Cultural Park which include the ethnic village and how people live in different ethnic group as well as their culture. Before moving to the next location milk and snacks were provided in the bus for the children and youths.

4pm: The group moved to Thaddluang temple, the huge golden stupa being a National Monument and one of the most representative places of Buddhism in Laos. The group spent the time there taking a lot of photos and sightseeing for 30 minutes and before continuing to a new area of the city, Thadluang Lake Special Economic Zone, that took about 10 minutes to reach. The new town is located in the city centre of Vientiane Capital and composed with many investment projects and promenades. The trip completed at 5:30 where all children reached their home and Peuan Mit transitional home.
Dinosaur sculptures
Golden temple
Impact: The excursion was very successful although it was raining in the morning but when the group reached the location the rain had stopped which made the weather comfortable. The group were very happy, they liked the activity in the bus. They wanted to join the trip again especially in the area where they have never been.

When visiting each location the group were responsible and behaved well. That also could be because of the collaboration from the two children’s leader in the group. One from the community and another one from transition home as a child’s representative who were active and support the staffs to manage the group and organized activity while the bus was travelling.

The driver was excellent and drove safely, he also made sure that the children and youths wore their seat belts and sat properly, then the staff counted before the bus moved. The group said the big bus was comfortable and they had never been in one like it before.

Quotes from the day
“I like the Kaysone Phomvihane museum because I can learn the historical about the former president and how he live his life”

"I am very proud of myself that I can have a chance to visit many interesting places during my school holiday”

“I like the lunch and games organized in the bus – it was very fun”

“I took many photos and will share to my friends when I go back home”

“the Buddha park is a new place for me, I have never been because it’s far from my village and normally I would have to pay the entrance fee which I can’t afford. It was very interesting”
About our partner organisation: Friends International is an award-winning social enterprise founded in 1994 that saves lives and builds futures of the most marginalized children, youth, families and communities in Southeast Asia and around the world. It works to create a future where all children are safe from all forms of abuse, and become functional, productive citizens who contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world. Friends works in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Thailand, and with 45 partners around the world, to provide comprehensive services to marginalized urban children, youth and their families. Since its inception, Friends has supported the education, well-being, and sustainable reintegration of more than 300,000 vulnerable children, youth and their families.

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Fun on the bus
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