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Muang Sing Textiles
In this section of Muang Sing we are happy to display one of our favorite photos, a photo of two Tai Dam girls sitting on a railing by the side of the Muang Sing Guest House, our favorite place to stay in Muang Sing. These girls were actually with a larger group of Tai Dam women seeking out foreigners to sell their scarves to, and these two girls came up to the guest house where we were sitting outside enjoying some Lao coffee in the morning. The Muang Sing Guest House is very, very simple, but the woman who runs the guest house is one of the friendliest people we've ever met and takes very good care of all her customers.
Muang Sing is a small town in the northwest of Laos, about ten miles from the Chinese border. Back in the late 90’s it was a key stop on backpackers’ maps, primarily because opium and marijuana were easy to get since Muang Sing is in that zone called the Golden Triangle, “one of Asia's two main illicit opium-producing areas.” (from Wikipedia entry). Back then, and even now many people refer to Muang Sing as being a kind of frontier town. Thankfully, the Lao government has cracked down on opium growing and all guest houses had/have flyers stating if anyone was/is caught buying or using drugs they would/will be arrested. And for a falang (foreigner) the cost of getting out of jail would not be cheap. We’ve heard it’s cost certain free-spirit backpacker types thousands of dollars to get their passports back after being caught with and/or using drugs.
We visited Muang Sing for the first time in December 1999 because we heard that there were several Mien villages that were easy to get to, and since there were Mien students at the school where Peter taught he was interested in learning more about their culture.
To learn more about why we are passionate about Muang Sing check out our photo gallery and post we wrote in our blog that describes in detail the dynamic, talented, amazing women of Muang Sing.
Here at Laos Essential Artistry we sell textiles from the Tai Dam, Hmong and MIen from Muang Sing and you can learn more about each of these groups and the textiles we carry on their respective section pages.