Lao Music, Plant

douang champa

Video by Champa lao. Dok Champa (Plumeria) is known as the national flower and official symbol of Laos.

Updated 2/24/2009: I also like this version of champa song, Noi Sengsourigna – Champa Meuang Lao.

According to Wikipedia, this flower has a different name depending on location, many other common names exist: “Kembang Kamboja” in Indonesia, “Temple Tree” or “Champa” in India, “Kalachuchi” in the Philippines, “Araliya” or “Pansal Mal” in Sri Lanka, “Champa” in Laos, “Lantom” or “Leelaawadee” in Thai. Many English speakers also simply use the generic name “plumeria”.

Interesting that Laos and India both called this flower ‘Champa’.  I went through pictures of my Laos Trip, and realized that I took quite a bit of pictures of Dok Champa and Champa tree, here are some.

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16 thoughts on “douang champa”

  1. I called them PANDA flowers when I was just a kid. It blooms in summer specially in the tropics country.

    Nice to know the national flower of Laos. It’s for purity, simple yet attractive.

    1. K, I’ve never heard it calls that before. Most of the leaves fell off when I was there, I’m not sure if it was because it was the fall season, but I often thought that we don’t have fall in the tropical country.

    1. Lol, I like the looks and smells of it. I used to have a red flower as my avatar, then I changed it after I took the name Ginger, it goes with my new name. 🙂

  2. And wow, it looks even better with the integration of “reply” button in wordpress.com blogs. This way, it’s now even more fun to blog and reply to every comments. WP is amazing for blogging huh? They spoil us (users) too much, eh?

    1. K, I really like the free version of WP, I think if blogging is all you are after, then this is a great tool to use, there is not much limitation when it comes to doing things. I do like their new reply button, makes things more simple and interesting, kind of more personal when it comes to replying to comment imo.

    1. Hi giiid, in Laos and Thailand, it’s mostly planted at the temple, and I think that’s why in India, it’s also called Temple Tree, and I’ve heard that it’s considered unlucky to plant this at home.

      When I was little living in Thailand, they used to call this “Lantom” which means sadness, and now they’ve changed the name to “Leelaawadee” which sounds more happy. As for me, I often associated this flower with sad feeling, and I’m not sure why, might be the name “Lantom” that I grew up knowing.

  3. Awesome pictures, Ginger! The flower is so beautiful. I never knew Dok Champa was a Plumeria. I knew a girl name Champa but we called her “Chomp-pa” which doesn’t make the name any pretty. Also, I remember dancing or “fon-ing” to the song when I was younger, too.

    Well, kind of off subject, but wondering if you had a chance to check out the documentary The Betrayal (Nerakoon)? It was showing here in Dallas last Friday, but I didn’t go.

    1. Hi Audrey, thanks, I think champa is a pretty name, but some how I associated it with a haunting place, I don’t know if I’ve seen it mostly at temples, and many of the ghost stories that I read, you can smell the champa sense before you see the ghost…goosebumps.

      I didn’t get to see The Betrayal (Nerakoon) yet, but looking forward to seeing it. I might have to wait till it comes out on video, and will definitely buy one. My family knew the family, we lived at the same apartment complex in Brooklyn, NY in the 80s, but he is older than me. I was kind of surprised when I saw his film during the Sundance Film Festival, but recognized him right away, a very small world, and I’m very happy to see his success, even though they didn’t win the Oscar, but they came a long way.

  4. Ginger, I actually have two Dok Champa plant at home, I had purchased them when I went to florida last summer. So far they seem to be doing fine, but with this harsh weather I had put them inside since winter had started, I can’t wait until it’s warmer so I can bring them outside and if all goes well they’ll stay alive and produce some plumeria’s for me. It’s a beautiful flower!

    1. Hi mozemoua, I saw it at Wat Lao Buddhavong last year, but didn’t buy one, my sisters and dad kept saying that people don’t grow them at home, only at temples, I guess still old traditional way of thinking. I’m sure they’ll have it this year also, I’ll see if I can afford it, I believed it’s quite expensive. I would love to see a picture of yours.

  5. GINGER, mine are still very young, If it does bloom I’ll be sure to post it up just for you. With the harsh winter season we had this year, I hope they are still doing good. I checked them the other day and they seem to be doing well, but then again lets hope they do bloom. If you really want one, you can actually order them, depending on which kind you want i thought the price are decent.

    1. mozemoua, if I’ve a chance to visit temples at Lao New Year or July 4th this year, I will check this out, they usually have sellers from Florida that sell this, but I know what my sisters would say to me, ‘People in Laos don’t plant this at home, only at temple.’ I think time has changed, as I’ve seen the Champa trees at guesthouses in Luang Prabang Laos. I’d love to see yours when it blooms.

  6. Wow this is a very popular flower. I remember seeing these in bloom in Hawaii and it made me feel right at home. From the smell to the way it looked.

    One of my relatives is name Champa too, it’s very Indian sounding to me. I like Thai’s version of “Leelaawadee” it’s very poetic and flows nicely. But then again, sounds kind of like the Irrawaddy River.

    Lovely photos you have as always. 🙂

    1. Thanks Salat, I think the Thais are very creative with their names, but the Lao named Champa is simple, and pretty, but I’m just not sure about a person’s name. I’d love to visit Hawaii one day.

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