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Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women
Ranked #14 of 70 things to do in Vientiane
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre trains Lao women in weaving, natural dyes, sewing, tailoring and business administration. Beautiful handwoven silk items are made on the premises, along with other products in a range of Lao textiles. Visitors can see the weaving and natural dyes, as part of the every day working environment at the centre. There is a retail shop, where handmade items of excellent quality can be purchased at reasonable prices. For those interested in textiles, or looking for a fun hands-on experience, there is a range of workshops ranging from a half day, full day, to several days. You can learn about natural dyes, and different weaving techniques.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2014

A well-meaning and interesting project, Tour itself is limited (and expensive) but there is a small selection of nicely-weaved products

Visited May 2014
Thank Rick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great way to spend a half day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2014

Three of us opted for the half day dyeing and weaving experience and so far it had been the highlight of my Laos trip. There are babies and young children running around, as pots of natural dies are bubbling, looms are clacking and an air of concentration hovers.

We had a short tour of the facilities, with the colour extraction and dyeing process explained, followed by watching the weavers in action. Questions were welcomed and cheerfully answered.

We tie dyed a scarf each, 3 different colours and 3 different patterns which meant we were able to get a wider range of techniques. We were all pleasantly surprised by how successful our efforts were. The weaving was also interesting, it really gave us an idea of how labour intensive the process is- and how hard you have to concentrate.

Thoroughly worth the money, especially as you come away with a scarf you made yourself!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank JSRScuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karachi, Pakistan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“What a WONDERFUL experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2014

Forget the journey in a tuk tuk that conked off halfway through, and leaving you abandoned in the heat, the 20 minute walk that finally got you to the center. But when you do, you forget all of that. 4 hours spent there in the most serene environment, making a scarf of your own design, the process soothing in itself, the staff more then welcoming. Anyone who visits Vientiane and wants a piece of tranquil creativity MUST stop over at the center. And forget the "...for women" tag, it i open for all, and for us, this stopover made Vientiane's visit worth it.

Visited March 2014
3 Thank Tubelightstarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A fabulous creative experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

My daughter (17yrs) and myself did a half day class and really enjoyed the experience. We were shown how to tie dye a silk scalf using natural dyes and both successfully completed one for ourselves which we will wear! Following that we participated in weaving and completed a small piece. We both felt it was a great thing to do giving us an understanding of the skill and patience needed by the women who do this for a living. The staff that worked with us were very friendly and helpful. All in all a fun time.

Visited January 2014
Thank Kerrie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great & quick feel for Lao traditional crafts! (reasonably priced too)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

I did weaving and dyeing twice during my recent trip to Laos. I will first review Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre for Women, before I compare my experience there with the other weaving and dyeing course which I did, so that you can make the best choice for yourself.

My first experience was in Houey Hong Vocational Training Centre, where my husband and I did a half-day weaving and dyeing course. During this course, you get to weave a small piece of fabric and dye a pre-made scarf using natural dyes and the tie dye method. The teacher taught us how to tie pieces of wood onto the folded scarf to make a pretty pattern, and then we got to stir our scarves in a boiling hot pot of dye! We also got to see the local women work on the looms, which was pretty cool. There is a very relaxed atmosphere in the centre, and both of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

It is also pretty good value- we paid 150,000 kip (About USD18) for the half-day course each, and got to take away a pretty scarf that we dyed ourselves as well as the memorable experience.

Do note that the centre is located somewhat out of the way, so you might wish to book their two-way transportation when you book the course. It cost 50,000 kip per person for a round trip, which we thought reasonable.

My second experience weaving and dyeingwas at Oct Pop Tok (Luang Prabang). I did a two-day course in Oct Pop Tok, as I enjoyed weaving and dyeing so much.

The course in Oct Pop Tok (even the half day weaving course) goes much more in depth into the weaving technique as you have an english-speaking guide with you the whole time to explain things in detail to you. In addition, you also get to experiment with the "kit" (continuous supplementary weft) technique and produce an item incorporating it. In contrast, you only get to experiment with plain weave at Houey Hong (perhaps because of the time constraint?) For the two-day course you produce a scarf, while you produce a placemat for the half-day course.

For the dyeing component, which the two-day Oct Pop Tok incorporates, you get to have an actual hands-on experience in producing the dye (e.g. pounding the annetto fruit into bits, splitting jackfruit wood)! This is an opportunity you do not get at Houey Hong. The guide will also explain in detail how the different dye colours are produced.

The downside of the Oct Pop Tok course is the cost. The two-day course set me back by USD139, and I believe that the half-day course would be more expensive that Houey Hong too. Please note that the half-day course at Oct Pop Tok does not include the dyeing component.

If you are strapped for cash and/or time, the Houey Hong experience would be for you. If you would like a quick taste of Lao traditional crafts and not have to go so much into detail, Houey Hong would also be the choice for you!

However, if you are a craft or textile aficionado and wish to have a more in-depth understanding of Lao traditional crafts, I would definitely recommend that you skip Houey Hong and head up to Luang Prabang for Oct Pop Tok's courses instead.

I hope that this review is helpful!

Visited December 2013
7 Thank drwho_rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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