Laos Sports

Sports are underdeveloped in Laos, primarily due to the lack of facilities. The Lao do participate in a number of sports at school (including badminton, volleyball, and basketball), but there are few opportunities or facilities for adults. Outside of school, there are few organized sporting activities for youths as well. The sports that are popular in Laos require minimal equipment of facilities. These include soccer, Sepak Takraw, martial arts and ball toss in tribal areas.

The Laotian national soccer (football) team competes in various international and regional tournaments, but has not made it past the first round in a major event. As of October 2006, they have a FIFA ranking of 183.

The Lao League is the top division of Laotian Football. Teams in the Lao League include  

Vientiane FC
Ministry of Public Security
Lao-American College FC
Army FC
National University
Lao Journalists’ Association FC
Vilakone FC
Kavin College
Prime Minister’s Office FC
Vientiane Province
Vientiane FC is the 2006 champion, having successfully defended its 2005 title.

Takraw (Sepak Takraw) is a popular traditional sport. This game involves two teams of three players hitting a rattan ball over a volleyball net without using their hands. Similar to volleyball, scores go up to 21 points. Sepak Takraw is a popular sport in Southeast Asia.  Laotian teams enter regional competitions such as the King’s Cup.

A recreational version of takraw involves players standing in a circle and trying to keep the ball in the air without using their hands (similar to hackysack).  

Martial arts are also practiced in Laos, with Muay Lao (similar to Muay Thai) being popular. There are debates over which came first between Muay Lao and Muay Thai.

The ball toss is a popular tribal courtship game. Boys and girls line up across from each other and throw a ball back and forth. A missed catch results in the player forfeiting an item of clothing or jewelry, which is recovered by singing a love song for each item.

Men from the Hmong tribe also enjoy battle events such as cock fighting and fish fighting. They place bets on the fights and gather around to watch the results.  

Other popular games also include top spinning. In this game, one child starts spinning their top, then the other person spins their top and aims at the first top. The winner is whoever’s top spins for the longest amount of time.
Last edited Oct 16, 07 5:18 PM.

Travel Tips for Laos Sports

Luang Prabang, Northern Laos, Laos
If you rent a bike inside Luang Prabang to go to the waterfalls, make sure the brakes work as the road is quite steep downhill at places.
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Luang Prabang, Northern Laos, Laos
definitely hire a bike!! its totally worth it and a nice change to walking or busing
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Luang Prabang, Northern Laos, Laos
bars close at midnight, locals are very friendly... after the bars go for a stroll with a little lao lao(booze) u can find life after the bars... dont ride a bike to the waterfalls (a must see) take a taxi as it can be a rough ride
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Vientiane, Laos
wear a helmet when riding motorcycles if possible. try to avoid riding too late or really early morning if possible. drunk drivers are out at those times. keep your distance and be aware if you do. bring pepto bismol just incase. don't trust everyone. there are cheaper hotels if you look around. $7/night for a queen size bed, bathroom, airconditioning, and a fan. I'm sure there is cheaper. things to do: clubbing, bars, festivals, jogging/biking/walking, bowling, pool hall, restaurants, fishing, shopping, tennis/basketball/other sports....socializing with locals
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Ban Hatkhai, Laos
This village is something we had never seen before and people there hardly ever saw foreigners like us. Thongvan was the only person in the village of Ban HatKai who spoke English. We had to call him Wan. First we had to do a boat trip for about an hour which was already amazing. Everything in Laos was so beautiful and untouched by tourism! Finally we arrived at the Keng Mang Waterfall where we got out of the boat to get into the jungle. Going through the jungle at Ban HatKai was even more amazing then the jungle trip we had at Ban Na. After 2 hours hiking through the jungle we stopped to have some lunch. After lunch we continued our walk to the top of the mountain. Once on top of it I just couldn’t believe my eyes: what an amazingly beautiful place it was. Between the top of that mountain and the one we could see on the other side there was a river called the Namang River, which of course we couldn’t see. But just to be on top of the mountain where almost nobody else had been was so amazing. We took a 15 minute break, took loads of pictures and then returned to the foot of the mountain because we had to be back before nightfall. When we arrived there at the Keng Mang Waterfall we all went for a good swim and then went back to the village of Ban HatKai by boat. When we finally got back into town it was already 7 p.m. Shaun, Ida and Ellen had to go to the temple to teach the local kids some English. Because it was too late for us to return to Thailand we joined them to teach some English. The kids are so excited that we just kept on teaching for more than 2 hours. Finally we had to stop because children have to go to bed some time. After dinner we stayed at Kammoon’s house to stay the night. In the morning Wan and Kammoon drove us to the big road with their motorcycles where we could take a bus to Vientiane which is the capital of Laos. From Vientiane we took the TukTuk to the border with Thailand again.
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