December 31, 2014

A Brief Look at Lao-British Relations

Tens of thousands of UK tourists have been visiting Laos for years.  Indeed when you travel in Laos, you will inevitably meet British tourists.  However, it was only in 2012 that the UK reopened an embassy in Vientiane.  Here are some questions and answers on Lao-British relations.

December 30, 2014

International Doctors Provide Free Surgery for Burn Victims

Vientiane Times, January 23, 2014

The Interplast Australia and New Zealand medical team will conduct a free consultation clinic at Mahosot Hospital on February 24 and perform subsequent surgeries from February 25 until March 7.

During their two-week visit, Dr. James Savundra and Dr. Philip Slattery will lead the seven-strong medical team to work with over 30 local doctors and nurses from Mahosot Hospital on plastic and reconstructive surgery.
The team – which includes anesthetists Dr. David Vyse and Dr. Christopher Lowry along with nurses Ms. Samantha Jervios, Ms. Gillian Bathgate and Ms. Shannon Muir – will also train local staff in burns management and treatment.

December 29, 2014

Why Book Reviews?

Whenever I tell people about this blog and about how I include book reviews, I always get this blank stare.  It feels as though there's an implied sentiment that books are boring and "why would I post reviews of it?"

So to expand a bit further, I thought I'd share my reasons:

December 09, 2014

Cucumber Salad - Dtum Mak Dtaeng

Simple, delicious and healthy. Enjoy it with sticky rice. :)

Video Credit: Youtube User Thai&LaoFood/

December 08, 2014

Psychedelic Temple

It was one year ago this week that I had revisited Laos in an amazing and fun trip, seeing both old and new things.  Having said that, I was reminiscing and going through my library of images.  I took this one out and reworked it a bit.  My psychedelic temple from Vientiane - somehow colorfully dark.

Vientiane Temple Colorfully Dark

Lao Book Review: Creating Laos - The Making of a Lao Space Between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945

Creating Laos - The Making of a Lao Space Between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945
Title:  Creating Laos - The Making of a Lao Space Between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945
By:  Soren Ivarsson
Publisher/Year:  NIAS Press, 2008
ISBN:  9788776940232
Price:  $20

Overall, it is an enthralling and educational read as it combines the topics of Lao identity, history, politics and culture.  Whether or not you agree with the author's arguments on how the ideas of Lao identity came to be, you can still appreciate the in-depth analysis he provides and the plethora of details.  Note that the book, as the title indicates, specifically covers only periods of 1860 to 1945.

December 04, 2014

Lao Coffee Gets Its Own Festival

What better way to promote a product than to give it its own festival.  Featuring the 1st Lao Coffee Festival from last month (October 2014).  Lao coffee can be a bit expensive if you're buying it from outside Laos.  Nonetheless it's high quality and often organically farmed.  It's also one of the first few Lao food exports to have gained traction overseas.  Here's a video clip from Vientiane Times on Youtube.

Video Credit:  Vientiane Times

December 03, 2014

List of Different Lao Textiles

Borrowed from's 2011 post on a list of some of the different sinh or seen that Lao women wear.  As described in the post, the names and ways in which the textiles are identified related to what technique or material that was used, which ethnic group it's often associated with or perhaps named for a particular motif.
  • seen mee (ikat)
  • seen muk (supplementary warp)
  • seen kor / sinh chok (discontinuous supplementary weft)
  • seen keet (continuous supplementary weft)

December 02, 2014

Good Old Lao Love Song - ກ້ຽວສາວແຄມງື່ມ

Haven't posted Lao music video in a while.  Here's a good old Lao love song, one that'll help set the mood.  It's called kiew sow kaem ngeum / ກ້ຽວສາວແຄມງຶ່ມ.

Video Credit:  Posted by Youtube user Khoun07.

December 01, 2014

Hmong New Year Dance Troop

It's from last year (2013) but no less still fun to watch this wonderfully talented dance troop perform.  Nice music too.  Have a look.

Video Credit:  Youtube user MeLovelyTV

Nyob Zoo Xyoo Tshiab! Happy (Hmong) New Year!

It's the beginning of December which marks the Hmong New Year.  They have a rich culture and very unique traditions and celebrations and are a large ethnic minority within Laos.

Here's a wonderful video from this past New Year with a beautiful song and footage of what goes on during traditional Hmong New Year.  Enjoy!

Video Credit:  Youtube user ehmongdvd.