January 29, 2015

The Term Villa Explained

In Laos, the word "villa" was borrowed from English.  However it doesn't exactly have the same meaning in Lao as it does in English.

Photo Credit:  ImmoLaos - an example of a single floor villa.

January 27, 2015

The Making of Traditional Lao Floor Mats

In Laos, traditional floor mats are weaved with dried plants.  Of course nowadays you can find mats weaved using plastic but in ban Puckper they still adhere to the traditional methods, as seen here in this video in CPWF-Mekong's project on "Livelihoods, Water and Change: Thaibaan Research Project (MK9)".

Video Credit:  CPWF-Mekong

January 23, 2015

Edible Bamboo Farming

Ever wonder how edible bamboo is grown and cultivated in Laos?  Bamboo is a favorite among the vegetable ingredients in Lao food.  This video focuses on how one village, ban Manilat, selects the varieties, how they farm it, how they eat it and how they're able to profit from it as well.

Video Credit:  CPWF-Mekong

January 22, 2015

Hmong Inspired Clothes

American illustrator and designer Sophia Chang joins forces with shoes and clothing company PUMA for a series of visual graphics based on their women’s sneakers. The project is entitled “Next Starts Now.”  In some of the examples shown here, she uses Hmong clothing as inspiration and combines them into mixed ensembles.  Ethnic clothing - it's different, fun, and eye-catching.

Photo Credit: Esymai.com

January 20, 2015

Butterfly Expedition in Luangprabang

Have you ever seen so many beautiful Lao butterflies all at one time?  You have to watch this video. 

Although it focuses on butterflies in Laos, there's also shots of other fascinating creatures along the way.

Video Credit:  Damis Films for Luangprabang Travel Exclusive

January 19, 2015

Trip to Visit Old Tea Trees in Laos

Sebastian Beckwith of InPursuitofTea.com shares a video of his trip while in search of old tea trees in Laos.  Clearly he must be a big tea lover!  I love tea so I thought it was fun to watch.  Have a look.

January 16, 2015

Laos Forest Tea

Lao Forest Tea logo imageBack in May 2010, a team of researchers, tea experts, government and NGO did a study of wild forest teas found in northern Laos.  They released their findings in a report.  77 samples of tea had been evaluated by an expert panel, and a portion (26) were deemed viable for possible commercial use.  They even selected a top 9 best teas.  The breakdown of the 77 were:  41 wild teas, 9 ancient cultivated teas and 27 commercially cultivated teas.

Lao tea samples at a cupping session, Photo credit:  Frank Miller and Eric Wong, Lao Forest Tea Project
Photo Credit:  Frank Miller and Eric Wong, Lao Forest Tea Project

January 15, 2015

Same Image: Real Photo vs. Painting

One of my secret little pleasures when shopping in Laos are to look out for different postcards to buy.  I absolutely love the variety and the photography in them.  Funnily enough, I buy these not to necessarily mail them out but rather I keep them for myself!

Here's a postcard of Vang Vieng.  It features a farmer's rest hut in the middle of a rice field.

Rest hut in a rice field in Vang Vieng by Michel Huteau
Photo Credit:  Michel Huteau

Then as I continued shopping on a subsequent day, I found the following beautiful line drawing painted in with water colors.  Guess what it was a painting of?

January 13, 2015

Forest Art Drawn by Orphans

Back in 2010 there was a drawing contest held to help promote teak and village life in Luangprabang. The 3 top selected winners were from an orphanage.  In case, you may have not seen it, here's their creative works of art from these talented young artists.

Forest Art Drawn by Orphans
1st Prize: Kong Lee, 14

January 12, 2015

New Luangprabang Hospital

A new hospital built by the NGO Friends Without a Border will be unveiled on February 11, 2015.  Here's the details from their website:

Photo Credit:  Friends Without a Border

A little heart goes a long way...

With the help of our friends all over the world, our little, green heart has gone a long way to deliver health care. Thanks to the tremendous support we've received, the children of Laos will have access to high-quality and compassionate health care.

January 11, 2015

Co-Management of Fisheries

Educational video made by the Mekong River Commission on fishing and its co-management with the villagers at Nam Houm Reservoir area.

January 05, 2015

4th Lao Book Fair - Big Success

Laos Book Fair a Big Success
By:  Chularat Saengpassa, The Nation (Thai), December 15, 2014

Laotians shop for books, most of them in the Thai language, at the 4th Book Fair organised by Thammasat University at the National University of Laos.

Laos: condoms, teenage pregnancies and sex talk on youth agenda

By: Carla Kweifio-Okai in Vientiane, The Guardian (UK), December 23 2014

Dr. Arsone Vongruily stands at the entrance of the youth health clinic in Laos’s capital, Vientiane, taking an inventory of the boxes of condoms that have just arrived. “We give out almost 3,000 condoms a month at this youth centre,” she says as she counts the supply. “They’re not just for the young people who come here. They take many to give out to friends at their school too.”