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!