April 29, 2015

Touching Animated Short Film on UXO

Two years ago Cory Sheldon created and posted this animated short film on Vimeo.  It's specifically about the legacy of unexploded ordinance (UXO) that remain in Laos since the Vietnam War.  The remaining bombs have become virtual landmines to villages across the country.  The film is a sombre reminder of the situation, but it remains an important one nonetheless.  Have a look.

Laos Free from Cory Sheldon on Vimeo.

Untouched Xaysomboun Ready to Open to Tourism

By Phonesavanh Sangsomboun, Vientiane Times, March 12, 2015

Xaysomboun province is set to officially open to tourists at the end of this year, allowing visitors the chance to explore some unknown and untouched sites in this formerly secret area that was for a long time closed to all outsiders.

Photo Credit:  Vientiane Times

Both historic sites and natural beauty are among the many attractions in the formerly remote Xaysomboun province.

The start of Visit Xaysomboun Year will be officially marked in December, aiming to coincide with the anniversary of the establishment of the province, which was officially founded in 2013.

April 22, 2015

The Forest is Our Lifeline - ປ່າຄຶຊິວິດ

A short Lao documentary discussing the importance of nature, forests and farming and the community's dependency on the land, with a focus on Xiengkhoung province in Laos.

Posted by Youtube User XYZPuna.

April 21, 2015

L(a)ost in Transition

This is a very interesting documentary on some of the members of the Lao-Australian community sharing their stories from their experience.   It's a documentary that Lao expats from around the world can probably relate to.

Created and Posted by Youtube User induangchanthy

April 15, 2015

Traditional Lao New Year Song Sung by Tai Dokketh

Posted by:  Youtube user Talatsao.

Luangprabang Lao New Year Song

Even in Laos, most people know that the city of Luangprabang is considered one of the favoured cities to visit during this time of the year.  And if that wasn't enough, did you know there's a Lao New Year song just for this city?  Check it out below.

Posted by:  Youtube user XYZPuna

April 14, 2015

Lao New Year Montage

Here are just some of the fun, revelry, shennigans and ceremonies that occur during Lao New Year, as shown here in this montage of photos.

Lao New Year Montage photo by Michel Huteau
Photo Credit:  Michel Huteau

April 09, 2015

Our Throwback Thursday (TBT) - Lao Woman From Huaphan From 1910

This photo is from an old French postcard from 1910 showing a Lao woman from Huaphan, Laos.  Photographer Credit:  Unknown.  Colorization by Laoconnection.com.

Our Throwback Thursday (TBT) - Lao Woman From Huaphan From 1910

April 08, 2015

Two Ancient Human Fossils From Laos Reveal Early Human Diversity

Reported by:  Phys.Org, April 8 2015

Credit: Fabrice Demeter.

An ancient human skull and a jawbone found a few meters away in a cave in northern Laos add to the evidence that early modern humans were physically quite diverse, researchers report in PLOS ONE.

April 07, 2015

New Photographic E-Book - Lao Confidential

Like this picture?  To see more, check out this new e-book called Lao Confidential by Denis Lejeune.  Described as a photographic portrait of Laos through the eyes of the author who spent 30 months in Laos.  Very inexpensive at just $4.64USD.

Large lao lantern - from Lao Confidential by Denis Lejeune

April 03, 2015

Ready for Lao New Year 2558?

Get ready because it's that time of year again! With April comes Lao New Year 2558.  Official days:  April 14-16, 2015.

April 02, 2015

Our Throwback Thursday (TBT) - Vat Haw Prakeow Back in 1867

This is what the famed Vat Haw Prakeow (ວັດຫໍພະແກ້ວ) in Vientiane appeared as when it was "re-discovered" by a French expedition to Vientiane, circa 1867.

Image Credit:  Engraving by Louis Delaporte, c.1867.  Colorization by Laoconnection.com.
Image Credit:  Engraving by Louis Delaporte, c.1867.  Colorization by Laoconnection.com.

April 01, 2015

Drones To Be Used To Detect UXOs in Laos!

Laser-imaging drone to hunt out unexploded bombs in war-torn nations
Alice MacGregor, CloserStill Media/TheStack.com, March 16, 2015

As drones become more commonplace, many companies are developing innovative uses of the technology beyond that of commercial and novelty robotics.

In his SXSW Interactive talk on humanitarian drone use cases this weekend Ryan Baker, CEO of aerial imaging firm Arch Aerial, discussed his company’s hopes to deploy its drones to map out mine fields and locations littered with unexploded bombs from historical warfare.

Baker suggested that his company wants to start the programme in Laos, the world’s most heavily bombed country – during the Vietnam War, the nation was targeted in over half a million American campaigns which dropped over two million tonnes of bombs across Laos. Laotians are still suffering the effects of a land riddled with landmines and unexploded cluster bombs. Ten of Laos’ 18 provinces have been labelled “severely contaminated”, with ‘tennis ball-size’ cluster bombs being the biggest threat.

Lao Minimum Wage to Rise 44% in April

Published by Bangkok Post on February 19, 2015

Laos will raise the minimum wage for unskilled labourers by almost 50% in a move reflecting the government's concern about a worker shortage.  The monthly wage will rise to 900,000 kip (about 3,630 baht) in April, a 43.8% increase from the current 626,000 kip (about 2,250 baht).

"The wage adjustment will take effect on April 1, 2015," the offical Lao News Agency quoted Phongsaysack Inthalath, director-general of the Labour Management Department, as saying Wednesday.