February 27, 2013

Story to Share: Culture! It's All Around You!

While in Laos, I often found myself chasing after Lao cultural books and impressive artwork, if I could find it, I'd be all over it.  And on the issue of Lao books, it’s funny how important books like these are to people like myself and others.  It reminds me how important cultural items such as books or cultural institutions are.

February 26, 2013

Random Awesome Image #10

Random Awesome Image #9 - laoconnection.com logo

Our random Laoconnection.com logo covers.  We're essentially trying to see how many times we can create and present something that's just essentially our "LAO" logo but in a fun and original way.  Hope you enjoy them... :-p

February 21, 2013

Vientiane Real Estate Boom or Bubble?

Recent economic and business reports have confirmed what many already know about Vientiane and its real estate sector, that it is in the midst of a boom and some would say a real estate bubble has formed.  The bubble is in part because of incredible price increases and the fact that the supposed boom is almost entirely unique to Vientiane alone. 

February 19, 2013

Elephant Festival Draws Jumbo Crowd

Over 200,000 visitors and local people yesterday flocked to the opening of the seventh Elephant Festival held in Xayaboury district, Xayaboury province.

Vat Phou Festival Ready to Welcome Visitors

Champassak district, where the Vat Phou festival will be held from February 20-25, is able to fully accommodate about 500 visitors per day.

Champassak District Governor, Mr Nouchan Chanthaphong in an interview with Vientiane Times on Friday said that Champassak district authorities were ready to welcome a great number of visitors to the Vat Phou festival this year.

Vat Phou Festival to Return to Its Ancient Roots

Visitors are set to flock to the famous Vat Phou festival in Champassak province for six days of celebrations from February 20-25, to enjoy the unique southern Lao culture and history which dates back to the 5th century and before.

Visitors to last year's Vat Phou festival. (Vientiane Times File Photo)

February 18, 2013

US Ambassador to Laos Moves Like No Other

Current US Ambassador to Laos, Karen Stewart, proves that she not only has the smarts in diplomatic relations and Lao language skills but check out her dance moves!  Gotta love her!

February 16, 2013

7th Annual Lao Elephant Festival - Feb 18-20 2013

The Elephant Festival includes parades, activities, shows, market shopping, sukhuan ceremony, elephant contest, and much more.  It's quite a spectacle to see and experience!  Check it out February 18-20 2013.

February 14, 2013

Tourists Jungle Trek Through Luang Namtha (video)

Fun exploration of the jungle and love the jungle picnic scene!

From Thailand to Laos, First by Train (video)

Awesome tourist's video, Nurettin Yilmaz on Youtube.  First part of the video starts on a train coming from Thailand to showing party preparations at Pha That Luang to going through the market and variety of other Vientiane settings and landmarks.  This is the first video of several he took while in Laos.

February 08, 2013

Sunlabob - Bringing Clean Water and Solar Power to Lao Villages (videos)

Sunlabob is a private organization doing very positive work in Laos, mainly with solar energy and water filtration in remote villages.  Below are 2 videos on some of the work they've done.

Here's their video on water filtration systems:

February 07, 2013

Lao Word of the Day: Shadow

Lao word of the day - the word shadow written in Lao

LLR (book): Natural Potency and Political Power

Title:  Natural Potency and Political Power:  Forests and State Authority in Contemporary Laos
By:  Sarinda Singh
Publisher/Year:  University of Hawaii Press, 2012
ISBN:  9780824835712
Price:  $30-45USD

February 05, 2013

Lao WTO Membership - 15 Years in the Making

February 2, 2013 marks the official day that Lao PDR has finally joined the World Trade Organization (WTO).  It originally sought membership 15 years ago on July 16 1997 when the application was originally received by the WTO.

World Trade Organization WTO logo

Have You Seen This Man?

Image of Sombath Somphone

Mr. Sombath Somphone, 60, disappeared on December 15, 2012.  He was last seen getting into a vehicle in Vientiane after having been stopped by traffic police.  A video posted on Youtube shows the last moments of when he was last seen.

February 04, 2013

List of Lao Civil Society Organizations

We often hear about international non-government organizations (iNGOs) but rarely do we hear about the work of Lao civil society organizations.  In fact, even many Lao people are not aware of all the different Lao organizations and the positive work that they do.  Indeed, as it turns out there are a lot.

Lao NPA Network's Learning House for Development along with the support of other iNGOs worked on creating the directory list document of all these organizations.  And it comes in both Lao and English.

Shrimp Me Up Some Lap!

Showing that you can make lap (Lao meat salad) with just about anything, here's a version made with shrimp that we found on Youtube (posted by PlummpChef).  In Lao we call shrimp salad lap goong or goy goong.  Looks so good!

February 02, 2013

Surviving the Peace (video)

An incredibly touching modern documentary showing how Lao people are dealing with the unexploded ordinance (UXO) situation that still exists in Laos today.  It also describes the work of an iNGO called Mines Advisory Group (MAG).  The video was made by MAG.  This is the full 23 minutes version but there's also a shorter 5 minute version.  Highly recommended watching!

February 01, 2013