Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith recently visited the Lao-Japan Friendship Sakura Park in Viengxay district, Huaphan province, to tour the park planted with Sakura or cherry blossom trees.
Viengxay district officials told Vientiane Times that the experts have maintained the Sakura trees well and expected they will begin blooming during the next couple of months (January-February 2017).
Each year, around 20,000 people from provinces around the country as well as locals in Huaphan province have visited the Lao-Japan Friendship Sakura Park.
District officials plan to develop the park to be an official tourist site in the near future and attract even more local and foreign tourists to the area, which is the first Sakura Park in Laos. Thus, they plan to develop essential infrastructure facilities to cater to the tourists.
Sakura Park was officially opened in February 2015, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Lao-Japan diplomatic relations. Approximately 300 Sakura seedlings have been presented by Japanese friendship associations and NGOs, including Asian Development with Disabled Persons (ADDP) and the Saitama-Laos Friendship Association, as a token of friendship between the two countries.
Nurturing Sakura trees requires expert knowledge, technical skill and experience. With this in mind, Huaphan province invited Japanese NGO, ADDP to extend their skills and knowledge to local people.
In response to the request, the ADDP established their branch in Viengxay district and are teaching local disabled people how to take care of Sakura trees as a part of vocational training project.
The ADDP staff and trainees are not only nurturing the Sakura trees but also making and selling Sakura cookies, which could be a specialty souvenir for the tourists.
Source: Vientiane Times