December 29, 2015

Temple Bird in Blue

Temple Bird in Blue
The temple bird which in Lao is called the hoang.
Although it is typically depicted in gold color, here we've done in blue.

December 28, 2015

Red Alien Plant

While visiting Kuangsi Falls in Luangprabang, among the foliage of green that surrounded the falls, there was a random single hanging strand of what looked like thick red petals tipped with bright yellow.  It was a stark contrast to all the green plants and the blue water.  Although its petals appear tightly formed, they do eventually open up.

Heliconia plant aka Lobster claw plant
Photo Credit:  Danny Foster via Flickr.

December 16, 2015

Flyover the Plain of Jars

This awesome flyover the mysterious Plain of Jars in Phonsavan, Laos, gives you not only a great aerial view but also shows you how vast the area that the jars occupy. And some areas have incredibly high concentrations of these giant stone jars.

Video Credit: Youtube user Seearch

December 07, 2015

Fossil Evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos

Title:  Early Modern Humans and Morphological Variation in Southeast Asia: Fossil Evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos
By: Fabrice Demeter, Laura Shackelford, Kira Westaway, Philippe Duringer, Anne-Marie Bacon, Jean-Luc Ponche, Xiujie Wu, Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy, Jian-Xin Zhao, Lani Barnes, Marc Boyon, Phonephanh Sichanthongtip, Frank Sénégas, Anne-Marie Karpoff, Elise Patole-Edoumba, Yves Coppens, José Braga

Academic Editor:  Roberto Macchiarelli, Université de Poitiers, France
Published:  April 7, 2015

Early Modern Humans and Morphological Variation in Southeast Asia: Fossil Evidence from Tam Pa Ling, Laos
Little is known about the timing of modern human emergence and occupation in Eastern Eurasia. However a rapid migration out of Africa into Southeast Asia by at least 60 ka is supported by archaeological, paleogenetic and paleoanthropological data. Recent discoveries in Laos, a modern human cranium (TPL1) from Tam Pa Ling‘s cave, provided the first evidence for the presence of early modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia by 63-46 ka. In the current study, a complete human mandible representing a second individual, TPL 2, is described using discrete traits and geometric morphometrics with an emphasis on determining its population affinity. The TPL2 mandible has a chin and other discrete traits consistent with early modern humans, but it retains a robust lateral corpus and internal corporal morphology typical of archaic humans across the Old World. The mosaic morphology of TPL2 and the fully modern human morphology of TPL1 suggest that a large range of morphological variation was present in early modern human populations residing in the eastern Eurasia by MIS 3.

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December 04, 2015

Drivethru Tat Luang!?

Here's yet another Tat Luang-like structure found in Laos.  And this one you can drive through it!
 Boten Border Customs Checkpoint between Luang Namta, Laos and China.
Photo Credit:  John Kwa, May 2014, via Google Maps

December 02, 2015

Access Guide to China for Lao Businesses

Title:  Lao PDR Market Access Guide:  Trading With ASEAN Dialogue Partners - People's Republic of China
Prepared by:  Montague Lord, February 2013

Access Guide to China for Lao Businesses

Part 1:  Guide to Understanding Lao Exports to China
Part 2:  Guide to Emerging Opportunities in China's Market
Part 3:  Exporter's Guide to China's Market
Part 4:  How to Expand Exports to China
Part 5:  Useful Resources

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In the Shadow of China: Trade and Growth in Lao PDR

Title:  In the Shadow of China: Trade and Growth in Lao PDR
By: Magnus Andersson, Anders Engvall, Ari Kokko
Stockholm School of Economics
Working Paper 4, March 2009

Cover picture of "In the Shadow of China:  Trade and Growth in Lao PDR"

The rapid integration of China into the global economy has profoundly altered external economic conditions for its neighbors and the wider developing world. This study explores the effects on Laos, a small developing country on the fringe of the Chinese market. The Lao case captures both global effects transmitted across the world market and a regional impact that may be limited to countries located close to China. Based on unique trade and household data-sets, the study identifies three main effects of China’s growth on the Lao economy: (i) an increased demand for exports of primary commodities to the Chinese market; (ii) increased inflows of Chinese manufactured goods competing with domestic Lao production; and (iii) border effects in northern Laos where low transaction costs have allowed even the poorest households to participate in exports to China. The first and second of these effects are expected to apply to most developing countries, whereas the third is unique to developing countries located close to the Chinese market. In the long run, it is possible that increasing wages and a gradual reduction of the Chinese surplus of unskilled labor will create new opportunities for labor intensive industry in other developing countries, but the short run strategies of many countries should probably focus on gradual upgrading of resource based industries.

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December 01, 2015

Vientiane at Night - Along Kem Kong

Vientiane at Night - Along Kem Kong
A look at Vientiane at night.  Notice the Evening Night Market 
with their tents lighting up along Kem Kong.
Photo Credit:  Bindoo Studio.