June 30, 2015

British Volunteer, David Murray, Dies in Laos After Contracting Dengue and Typhus

Reported By: Emma Glanfield, Daily MailOnline (UK), June 15 2015

Photo Credit:  Daily MailOnline and Cascade News.

A lorry driver who quit his job to go and work as a volunteer with orphans in south-east Asia has died after being bitten by mosquitos.

David Murray, 39, left his job as an HGV driver in Hyndburn, Lancashire, to teach English in Laos.

June 29, 2015

Vat Haw Pra Kaew Gets a Reno

One of the oldest and most recognizable temple in Laos, the Vat Haw Pra Kaew, gets a reno and a crowning glory.

Video Credit:  Vientiane Times, May 3 2015.

New Lao Foundation to Promote Literacy

Video Credit:  Lao News TV (June 19 2015). 
The Cheuang Sombounkhan Foundation to promote writing and reading skills.

June 23, 2015

Lao Phrase: To Put Heart/Mind Into Something

Lao Phrase:  To Put Heart/Mind Into Something - written in Lao and English

Further explanation:  This phrase means to put one's heart or mind into something. In other words, it gives the meaning of to put all of oneself into something such as a task or job.

June 18, 2015

Laos’ Economic Agenda

By:   Mong Palatino, The Diplomat, May 12, 2015

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (formerly known as Lao People’s Party), which was founded together with the Indochina Communist Party to expel foreign invaders from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The struggle for independence finally succeeded in 1975, which led to the establishment of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Photo Credit:  The Diplomat and Abhisit Vejjajiva.

To celebrate the party’s achievements in the past 60 years, a large gathering of senior party leaders and high-ranking party officials was held at which party secretary-general and president of the Lao PDR Choummaly Sayasone delivered the keynote address.

June 17, 2015

Can Laos Lead ASEAN in 2016?

By:  Edmund Sim, The Diplomat, June 10, 2015

Last month I conducted a workshop in Vientiane with the Lao government on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).  This was sponsored by the Asia Foundation and Ausaid in support of Laos’ upcoming term as ASEAN Chair in 2016.  Laos last served as ASEAN Chair in 2004, during which the Vientiane Action Plan for the ASEAN Communities was issued, one of the key milestones in the AEC.

Photo Credit:  The Diplomat and Shutterstock.

Despite its previous experience as ASEAN Chair, much has changed in the AEC over the past 11 years.  ASEAN has signed various new economic agreements which add to the complexity of economic integration in the region, including some among Southeast Asian states themselves like the ASEAN Single Window Agreement and free trade agreements with several countries like South Korea and India. Hopefully the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership talks will be completed this year as well.

Fly Cam Goes Over Huaphan Province

Fly over Huaphan Province and see the villages and the thatched roofs, rice fields and celebrations.

Video Credit:  LaoStar with EyeSky Asia.

June 16, 2015

Deadly Dish: The Dinner That Can Give You Cancer

By:  Jonathan Head, BBC News, June 13 2015

A local delicacy in north-east Thailand, made from raw fish, has been found to be behind a high incidence of liver cancer in the area, and doctors are trying to educate people about the risk.

A local delicacy made from raw fish.
Photo Credit:  BBC News

June 11, 2015

Rare Old Photo of a Temple in Xiengkhouang Province

Why rare?  Read on to find out...

Old photo of the ruins of a temple found in Xiengkhoung province, early 1900s.
 Photo Credit:  Not known.  Colorization by Laoconnection.com.

June 10, 2015

Fly Over The Tat Luang Festival!

Ever see the Tat Luang Festival from the sky?  Here's an awesome video of what it looks like from the viewpoint of a bird.  Have a look at this video and see all the thousands of festival goers.

 Video Credit:  LaoStar Channel with EyeSky Asia.

June 05, 2015

139 Bizarre and Beautiful New Species Discovered in Greater Mekong Region

By:  World Wildlife Federation (WWF), May 26 2015

Bangkok –A bat with nightmarish fangs, a stealthy wolf snake, a ‘dementor’ wasp and the world’s second longest insect are among the 139 new species discovered by scientists in Southeast Asia’s Greater Mekong region in 2014. Many are already at risk, according to a new report by WWF.

Long canine toothed bat found in Laos
Long canine toothed bat found in Laos.  
Photo Credit:  WWF

In total, 90 plants, 23 reptiles, 16 amphibians, nine fish, and one mammal are detailed in the report, Magical Mekong. They include a feathered coral whose nearest relatives live in Africa, four moths named after Thai princesses and a colour-changing thorny frog.

This brings the total new species discovered in the Greater Mekong,  which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, to 2,216 between 1997 and 2014 – an average of three new species a week.

'We just want answers': Family of Canadian Who Died in Laos Demand Gov't Action

Credit: CTV News (Canada)

June 04, 2015

Japanese Students Find Their Sensitive Values Shared in Laos School Building Project

By:  Louis Templado, Asia & Japan Watch, May 22, 2015

High school student Gaku Maruyama's life changed when he traveled outside Japan for the first time to Laos during his last summer vacation to help build a school.

Now his dream is to see more of the world after he graduates and eventually becomes an overseas aide worker.

"Japanese are known for being kind and gentle-mannered. But the people in Laos proved to be even more so than here," in Japan, Maruyama says. "They made every possible effort to communicate with us in Japanese and even tried teaching me Laotian. I was shocked by their kindness, and now want to teach others about them now that I'm back home."

Photo Credit:  Asia & Japan Watch

June 02, 2015

Plastic Waste - A Challenge to Increasingly Prosperous Laos

By:  Xinhua News (China), May 1, 2015

Like many other cities of the world, the Laotian capital, with its improving economy and standard of living, is not spared from the scourge of urban living: the proliferation of plastics and products bottled or wrapped in plastics.

The biggest problem is that wrappers or bottles made of plastic materials are carelessly thrown just about anywhere. Most of them end up clogging canals and waterways or polluting the waters of the mighty Mekong River.

Hundreds of tons of garbage, that include plastic materials, are being scavenged in the whole city every day. And these include refuse from the riverside Chao Anouvong Park which is frequented by local and foreign tourists.

BCEL-JCB Credit Card To Be Launched

Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao to launch BCEL-JCB credit card in Laos
By:  Asian Banker, May 26 2015

Vientiane, Laos and Tokyo, Japan - Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) and JCB International Co., Ltd. (JCBI), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., have announced to launch BCEL-JCB Credit Card in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos).

BCEL-JCB Credit Card can be used at about 29 million POS using JCB acceptance network and there are many more privileges that BCEL-JCB Credit Card members will enjoy at more than 100 merchants in Laos, and also can have advantage and special offers at around 2,300 JCB merchants worldwide as well as the exclusive JCB Plaza Lounges located in popular destinations including Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.

Photo Credit:  BCEL

Bodies of 6 School Children Located in Laos' Ferry Disaster

By:  Xinhua News (China), May 28, 2015

Search parties in Laos have located the remains of six of the 10 school children that had gone missing and been presumed drowned after a vessel ferrying students and teachers across a major Mekong tributary capsized Tuesday morning, local police have confirmed.

Photo Credit:  Xinhua

June 01, 2015

60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Laos and Japan (LNTV)

Video Credit:  Lao News TV

New Coin Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Laos-Japan Diplomatic Relations

By Michael Alexander, Coin Update, March 12 2015

The Bank of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic have announced a new commemorative coin which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Laotian government of the day and Japan.