December 29, 2012

The Isan (old movie from 1970s)

The Japanese title translates to Children of the Northeast while the Thai title translates to Children of Isan.  It's an old movie from the 1970s about the Isan people that I found on Youtube.

December 28, 2012

Interesting Photo: A Man Standing on the That Luang

Here's an interesting photo found on Flickr from user Sascha Ricter.  And it's something we've never seen.  A man standing on the That Luang in Vientiane, Laos.

Image of a man standing on the That Luang, Vientiane Laos, from Flickr user Sascha Ricte
Photo Credit:  Sascha Ricter

Rice Crazy in Laos

In Laos, thousands of varieties of rice are grown by local farmers. Years ago the government, along with the assistance of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), began to catalogue all the species and varieties grown within its boarders as part of the National Rice Research Program germplasm bank.  Laos is the 2nd highest contributor towards this international germplasm bank having contributed 15,000 varieties.

Image of some rice varieties

December 27, 2012

Gorgeous Photo: Glowing That Luang

Gorgeous glowing image of That Luang in Vientiane, Laos, from National Geographic (2011).  The photo is taken with a long exposure on the camera.  The flowing lights at the base are celebrants circling the That Luang while holding candles.

Gorgeous image of a glowing That Luang in Vientiane, Laos from National Geographic


December 25, 2012

Funny Photo: A Buffalo Stance?

Here's a funny picture from the photographic archives of National Geographic magazine.  This photo is from 1968.  The buffaloes are being herded down the road.  They unwittingly became a road block - buffalo style!  How would you get around that?

ODDLY this image reminds me of the song from the 1990s from Neneh Cherry called Buffalo Stance. Check out the link for a good retro rap 555. :)

Photo Credit:  Wilbur E. Garrett, National Geographic

December 20, 2012

Night Time Photo of Asia From Space

Gorgeous image of all of Asia at night, lit up by a variety of light sources including cars, buildings, fires, street lights, etc. 

Night Time Photo of Asia From Space

Current and Old Lao Flags

The Current Lao PDR Flag

The current Lao flag became official at the same time the republic was created (1975). The white circle is said to represent the sunrise over the Mekong River. It is also sometimes described as the unity after the struggle from imperialism. This flag is also one of the few that represents a communist country without having the typical communist symbolic stars or hammer and sickle.

The Flag of the Former Royal Kingdom of Lan Xang

This flag was used during the monarchial times in Laos (pre-1975). The image was that of the three headed elephant on top of a stand with an umbrella (or parasol) on top.

The three headed elephant image is Buddhist/Hindu in origin.  It is called Airavata (or Erawan in Thai and Cambodian). According to Buddhist/Hindu beliefs the elephant has always been a symbol of greatness, wisdom and a vehicle.

December 19, 2012

Lighting Up Homes and Empowering Lives in Laos

A short video showing how electricity expansion under the Rural Electrification Program, throughout Laos is helping to change and empower lives.  Also shows how off-the-grid electricity is used in the more remote rural villages to ensure their inclusion as well.

Village Life Changed by Starting a Bamboo Industry

A short video of the Sangthong District Bamboo Trade Association that was set up in 2009.

A project that helped to create a bamboo products industry among a small number of villages with support from several iNGOs.

December 17, 2012

Mee Ka Tee - Most Awesome Lao Soup!

Most awesome?  Or perhaps just my favourite... :)  As a kid I used to call it mee ka teekerzzz!   Mee ka tee is essentially a coconut milk, pork, red curry soup. 

When I was young, I once had this Lao soup dish that a family friend had made.  I loved it so much that I mentioned it to my mom and asked that she show me how they made it.  I forget how old I was exactly but definitely around my pre-teens.  Indeed it would become one of the first Lao dishes I ever learned how to make.  In fact, I often attribute this dish as to why I started cooking Lao food on my own from an early age.  To this day it's still one of my faves.

Here's our recipe.  I guarantee you'll love it.  And don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients and steps, it'll all be worth it in the end.

Lao recipe - meekatee - pork, noodle, red curry, coconut milk soup

Story to Share: Coverage of Diversity

We were asked recently why we post many items on our website about different provinces and ethnic groups in Laos. We're happy to explain why.

We put up such posts primarily for 2 reasons:

December 15, 2012

Turkish Travel Show Visits Laos (Translated in English)

It's interesting to see different travel shows from around the world visit Laos.  If I'm not mistaken this one is a Turkish travel shown (name unsure?).  Though it is translated with English voice over.  Shown in 4 parts on Youtube.  Here's 1 of 4 shown below.

Lao Oral Stories and Story Telling (video)

Here's a video of how oral stories were told in Laos back in the old days in the village.  This one features a funny story with re-enactments in Lao and subtitles in Thai.  Video clip 1 of 7 shown below. 

December 14, 2012

3rd Lao Music Awards 2012 - Starts Today!

Dec. 14-15 2012 at the National Cultural Hall.  Live performances by musical artists, DJs, dance competition, and much more.

Lao Film/Cinema Department

The Ministry of Information and Culture has within it the Lao Department of Cinema (aka Film Department).  They also have a Youtube channel where they post current and old film footage of news occurrences, educational stuff and even fictional shows.

The video shown here gives some background on what they do.  It's an older video but it's still interesting and informative to watch.

Lao Short Film - A Little Change / ຕົ້ນກ້າ (video)

Lao New Wave Cinema, a new start-up, made this short film.  It's cheesy but in a good way and so cute.  And it has a great message.  It's called A Little Change / ຕົ້ນກ້າ.

Watch it all the way through.  It's worth it.

December 13, 2012

Funny Photo - Action Asia 2010 Marathon

This picture is hilarious.  It was snapped by a photographer during the Action Asia marathon that took place in Laos back in 2010.  Picture shows one of the runners passing by a local.  The local is a little lady carrying a back full of a wood and if you look close enough she's also carrying a child on her back.  Correction:  It's two local ladies carrying lots of wood on their back.  From that particular angle it looked like she was carrying a child too but it's actually just another local following her.

In any case, I wonder who has more endurance? :-p

Action Asia 2010 Marathon in Laos - funny picture of a local and a marathon runner

December 11, 2012

The 3rd Luangprabang Film Festival 2012

The 3rd Luangprabang Film Festival 2012 recently took place on December 1-5.  Its tag line:   Celebrating Southeast Asian Cinema.  It covered a wonderful array of Lao short films, SE Asian regional films, music and dance events as well as panel discussions.

Poster cover of the Luangprabang Film Festival 2012 Dec 1-5

New Lao Airlines Commercial 2012

This is Lao Airlines new 2012 commercial that premiered at the recent Luangprabang Film Festival this year.  Shown below is the long version at over 3 minutes.

December 10, 2012

Story to Share: Filipino History in Laos

Something that all Lao people should be made aware of is the Filipino contribution to Laos.  This is something I just learned recently myself.  And I thought it was definitely worth sharing.  I admit a bit of ignorance on this.  Until recently I didn't know the extent of Filipino contribution in Laos now or previously with many having done a great deal of humanitarian work.

December 09, 2012

Miss Laos 2012 Winners Announced!

Congratulations to all the contestants and the winners of this year's Miss Laos 2012 pageant.

Miss Lao 2012 winners

To read more on the pageant and the winners checkout:

December 06, 2012

Miss Laos 2012 - Final Competition Dec 7 2012

Vientiane Times reports that the 20 finalists of the Miss Laos 2012 have been making their way around Vientiane for the past week.  Lao Star Channel has been providing coverage during their travels.  They will also cover the final competition which is set for December 7 2012 at Don Chan Palace Hotel.

December 03, 2012

A Visit to Laos (in French)

Un grand nombre de clips que nous présentons ici est typiquement en lao, en anglais ou en thaï. Pour nos visiteurs francophones, voici un clip vidéo de voyage au Laos en français.

Translation:  A lot of the clips we show on here tend to be Lao, English or Thai.  For our French speaking visitors, here's a travel video clip to Laos in French.

Random Awesome Image #6

Buddha Painting

December 01, 2012

Land of the Sky/Heaven - Lao Students Story Writing

Officially they're calling it Critical and Creative Writing Development for Lao Youth. The book is called Land of the Sky (or the translation could also be Land of Heaven or Heaven's Land).

This is an awesome literary project involving stories written by students from Paksong, Champassak.  With support from an iNGO called Global Association for People and the Environment (GAPE).

It's great to see talented young writers get into literature and creative story writing. If you're looking for bilingual Lao/English literature online this is a great site for that too. You can download and view a variety of stories.

Many of the stories have lessons to be learned (almost like parables) such as the story of The Fish Are Gone and That Friend of Our's.  There's at least 21 stories posted on their website. 

Illegal Forest Logging and Deforestation in Laos By Vietnamese

An iNGO called Environmental Investigation Agency last year (2011) did a revealing investigation into how Vietnamese companies (and those that support them) are taking logs from Laos over the border into Vietnam.  It's so incredibly sad to see Laos' natural resources be taken like this and for no benefit to Lao people.  Deforestation in Laos remains a big issue.

Laos is like a sanctuary as it's a country that's in the middle of Southeast Asia surrounded by huge populated countries.  Its forests remain one of the few refuges for animal life and the people who depend on them.

Crossroads from EIA on Vimeo.

Explore iTunes - Lao Music Selections

Anyone out there have iTunes?  But of course there are...

Surprisingly iTunes has quite a selection of Lao music for sale.  A simple search in there with the word Laos is enough to give you plenty of choices to start with. Here are some notable ones we found but there are plenty more on there.  Explore!

November 30, 2012

Photo Site - Vientiane Times

Vientiane Times is also posting some interesting photography on their website.  Here's a couple of samples.  On the left, a funky shelter right on the boat dock.  On the right, a beautiful candlelit image of monks monks lighting candles.

Photo Site - Paul Wager

Found some interesting images of Laos taken by photographer Paul Wagner.  On the left, an old traditional Lao home in Luangprabang.  On the right, a very high/tall temple, Vat Nonglamchan, in Savannakhet province.  Click the images to go to the image source site.

November 29, 2012

Language Mistakes and Big Thanks

Hi everyone, it has come to our attention that some of our language items had mistakes in them.  We humbly apologize for any mistakes.

A big thank you to whoever sent in those corrections (as they had did so anonymously).  Many of the corrections were added and some were politely disputed.  But in the end it helps to make the website content better and for that we are most thankful.  And for someone to take the time to read, correct and send in all their comments, is a sign of great interest - and that's certainly something we appreciate.

We always appreciate hearing from our visitors whether they are comments, questions, or corrections.  Messages can be left for us here on the website in the comments or you can message us on Facebook.


November 28, 2012

Culture in Change - Akha People of Northern Laos

Film by:  Martin Gronemeyer, 2004.  Posted by:  LazyCaruzoe via Youtube

Lao Dream Star Project Season 1

This is essentially a Lao version of American Idol.  Young and quite talented singers!  Just a couple of clips below. We'll add more as we find them.

November 27, 2012

Press Conferences Galore!

It's become commonplace in Laos that with any new announcement or event, whether it be political, cultural, sport, religious, business, or convention that it's now accompanied with a ubiquitous must have press conference.  Press conferences are everywhere these days.

LLR (book): Mother's Beloved

Title:  Mother's Beloved - Stories From Laos
By:  Outhine Bounyavong
Edited:  Bounheng Inversin and Daniel Duffy
Introduction by:  Peter Koret
Publisher / Year:  University of Washington Press, 1999
ISBN:  0295977361
Price: $10-20USD

Lao literature review (book) - Mother's Beloved - Stories From Laos by Outhine Bounyavong

November 26, 2012

3rd Vientianale Short Film Contest

To all film makers, here's your chance to profile Laos and to show your skills.  The Vientianale film short film competition is open to anyone regardless of their background in film making, and they have until January 15, 2013, to submit their entries.

Lao Words of the Day - Lao (Homonym)

Lao Words of the Day - Lao (Homonym) - written in Lao and English

November 25, 2012

Miss Laos 2012 - Application Time

Miss Laos 2012 contest has begun accepting applications since September.  Checkout the link for more info or if you want to apply.

Meanwhile, here's a video of last year's contestants.

Or you can follow them on Facebook at:

November is That Luang Festival Time

November is That Luang Festival Time.  A celebration of Laos' national monument.  It's primarily a 3 day event but it seems more and more is being added each year (ie. more performances, conventions held concurrently to the main festival, etc.)

Here's some footage from previous celebrations.

November 21, 2012

Mekong Diaries - Laos (videos)

The Mekong Diaries is a series of short films featuring Laos and other Southeast Asian countries, all of whom rely on the Mekong River.  It discusses the effects of economic changes and what it means for the river, as well as conservation, fishing, development in remote areas and Chinese investments that are changing the land and river.

The series was created by Good Morning Beautiful Films.  An Australian film company seeking inspiration, justice and adventure through film and art.

The following 3 videos are the ones featuring Laos.  For all the other videos check out there link below.

Mekong Diaries - Laos:  Battery of Asia

November 19, 2012

LLR (book): Ancient Luang Prabang

Title:  Ancient Luang Prabang
By:  Denise Heywood
Edited By:  Narisa Chakrabongse and Oraphan Chaivorarat
Publisher/Year:  River Books, 2006, 2008
ISBN:  9789749863664
Price:  $20-30 USD

November 17, 2012

Luangprabang and Forest Cooking

Nice video showing scenery of Luangprabang, waterfalls and countryside.  It was posted by Polish tourists to Laos.

But there's more!  There's also a scene in the video where some locals are making a meal in the middle of the forest using only bamboo logs, banana leaves, sticks and a machete as cooking tools yet are able to make real food with the ingredients they have!  I'd love to know how to cook like that!  I'd say it brings resourcefulness in cooking to a whole new level.  The music is also nice though it's not Lao.

I just can't get over cooking soup in a bamboo it!  I wish this video showed more of that.

French Military Cemetary in Vientiane

A site many people don't know about is the French Military Cemetery in the outskirts of Vientiane near the airport, more precisely in Ban Phonthong.

(Youtube video posted by Nigel Fowler Sutton.)

November 16, 2012

Water and Fish - From Perspective of Lao Villagers

Video Credits: Directed by Khamphet Thapekaisone, 
Written and Produced by Phouvong Phetphayvanh, 
With support from Mekong Watch and KNCF.
Via Youtube.

Sayaburi Dam to Move Ahead

As reported by several online news outlets, Laos will be moving ahead with its Sayaburi dam, amidst contentious times.

Read more at:

3D Maps to Aid in Village Land Planning

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has created a new tool for villagers and towns people to use while discussing land plans in the village.  The 3D maps provides a visual tool that allows for all sides to show what is being planned for the land (whether their own land or village land), discuss or dispute, or make suggestions.

New Pillar Shrine to be Consecrated in Vientiane

Vientiane Times reports that a new city Pillar Shrine will be consecrated on Setthathirath Rd. in Phiavat village, Sisattaknak district, November 15-17 2012.  Ceremony and celebration will include prayers lead by 99 monks from across the country as well as photos and artefacts exhibit, music performances and film screenings.  The location was chosen as the spot where hundreds of pillar fragments and other artefacts dating back from the 4th and 5th centuries were found.  Some high ranking officials will also be in attendance.

Read more at:

November 15, 2012

Sayabouri Province Through Tourist Eyes

Found a great video featuring Sayunbuli as it's pronounced (or however you decide to spell it Sayaboury, Sainyabuli, Xaignabouli, Xayaburi, Sayaburi).  It's a wonderful look at this province through a tourist's eyes.  Wonderfully showing scenery, people and festivities.

Sam Neua and Vieng Xay in Houaphanh Province Through Tourist Eyes

Here's one tourist's video of his visit to Sam Neua and Vieng Xay, two primary cities in Houaphanh province.  Houaphanh is located in northwest Laos sharing its border with Vietnam.  The province has a lot of caves and eye-catching terrain.  The province's place in national history is quite important as it was there that the leaders of the revolution had their headquarters.

November 12, 2012

LLR (book): Lao Folktales

Title:  Lao Folktales
By:  Wajuppa Tossa with Kongdeuane Nettavong
Edited by:  Margaret Read MacDonald
Publisher / Year:  Libraries Unlimited, 2008
ISBN:  9781591583455
Price:  $20-40USD
Lao literature review (book) - Lao Folktales by Wajuppa Tossa and Kongdeuane Nettavong

Lao Word of the Day: The Weather

Lao word of the day - the weather, written in Lao and English

November 11, 2012

SNV Bamboo Work Programme in Houaphan Province

SNV, a Dutch iNGO that operates in a number of countries including Laos, made a video last year to show and report on the bamboo work programme in Houaphanh province (alt. Huaphanh).  Houaphanh is also another province that doesn't get much coverage so it's very interesting to watch and it's great to see positive results that help the locals.

November 10, 2012

Story to Share: The Broader Perspective

I had an interesting conversation recently where I was telling someone I was buying Lao books.  As the conversation continued, one of the questions I was asked was "Do you ever buy books about other cultures?".  To which I answered an undeniable yes.  But it got me thinking about a time when I felt that buying anything other than Lao books was blasphemy.  I'll explain...

Lao Language: Expressions of Time

Lao language - expressions of time - written in Lao and English

November 09, 2012

SEASite Laos From Northern Illinois University

SEASite Laos from the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Northern Illinois University has been around for ages.  The site may appear at times a bit dated but the info is timeless.  It contains an incredible amount of useful and educational info on Laos and Lao culture.  Notable sections include Lao language, literature, folklore, art and culture, history, gallery and a variety of other items.

This site is highly recommended.

Check them out at:

Huge Collection of Lao Postcards

There's a French website (though there is some English on there too) that focuses exclusively on postcards from Laos, old and new.  The website is simply called Les Cartes Postales Anciennes et Modernes Du Laos.

Huge Collection of Lao PostcardsHuge Collection of Lao Postcards

November 08, 2012

KKTVNews - Think ASEAN Episode 3 and 4

Episode 3 - Battery of Asia

Episode 4 - Phoukoon T-Junction of Change

LLR (book): Lao for Beginners: An Introduction to the Written and Spoken Language of Laos

Title:  Lao for Beginners: An Introduction to the Written and Spoken Language of Laos
By:  Tatsuo Hoshino and Russell Marcus
Publisher / Year:  Tuttle Publishing, 1981 onwards (multiple years and editions)
ISBN:  9780804816298
Price:  $15+-

Lao literature reviews (book) - Lao For Beginners - An Introduction to the Spoken and Written Language of Laos by Tatsuo Hoshino and Russell Marcus
(covers from over the years)

November 07, 2012

Lao Song - For Those Who Miss Bahn Gow

For those who miss home - this song is for you.  Wherever you are, Lao will forever be in your heart.  Enjoy!

Song: keet hawt bahn gow (roughly translates into to miss the old home)
Singer:  Tou Vilayphone

9th Annual ASEM 2012 in Vientiane Nov 5-6

The 9th annual Asia-Europe Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos, November 5-6.  Asian and European leaders convened to discuss a variety of issues ranging from greater cooperation, territorial and security concerns, economics and investments, human rights issues, among others.

Quick Facts about ASEM

ASEM Villa
  • "ASEM Villa" project covers an area of 84,000 square meters and is worth around $100 million USD
  • 52 projects built by China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd to accommodate Asian and European leaders and their entourage.
  • 37 countries from Asia and Europe
  • 81% of ASEM countries represented
  • 21 countries from Europe
  • 16 countries from Asia
  • 3 newest members who officially just joined as November 5 2012 are Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland
  • 76 universities participating (41 Asian, 35 European)
  • 16 Universities in the World Top 200 of Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012
  • 29 Universities in the World Top 400 of Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012

The 3rd Annual Lao Music Awards 2012!

Mark you calendars for the 3rd Annual Lao Music Awards 2012!
Press Conference:  November 13 2012 at Dok Champa Hotel
Awards Date:  December 14-15 2012

November 06, 2012

Khammouane Province (TVThai)

TVThai channel has a show called Spirit of Asia.  In this episode they they cover the province of Khammoune.  This province is small but it has lots to offer by way of fascinating caves, variety of ethnic groups, its mix of Lao and French buildings.  It's great to see this province get some media coverage.  Video is in Thai and Lao.

Parts 1 and 2 shown below.


Bokeo, Khmu People and Sustainable Forests

This documentary is a fascinating look at the Khmu (alt. kumu, khumu, khamu) ethnic group and their way of life.  It shows their resourcefulness, food, language, and their use of the forest.  It's great to see a documentary focusing on them and on Bokeo province, in north western Laos.  It also discusses sustainable forest practices.

Documentary by Rachel Clarke with support from The Canada Fund (Canada), CAMID (Brazil), and  German Development Service (Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst - DED).

November 04, 2012

Fashion Show From Lao Handicraft Festival 2012

A short video of one of the Grand Fashion Show that occurred at the most recent Lao Handicraft Festival 2012, November 1.  Very nice!

Posted by Youtube user Jetsada Saenudomchok.

Adorable Children's Performance to Yen Sabai Sow Na

You know you're Lao if you can remember your parents playing this song when you were young.  Even now people still play this song.  It's considered a classic.   It has a great intro sequence and a catchy beat and everyone always remembers the chorus.

Lao Handicraft Festival 2012 - Lao Commercial