Culture, Travel

Magic Laos

2 Sep , 2020  

‘The Vietnamese plant the rice, the Cambodians tend the rice and the Lao listen to it grow’ – said the French colonialists. Needless to say, they didn’t mean it as a compliment. And maybe they should have. Hundred years later, looking at Laos we might find out that there is much to learn from its […]

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Culture

Lao New Year 1974

25 Aug , 2020  

A video showing the celebrations in Luang Prabang, Laos in 1974. Not a lot has changed.

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Culture

Boun Hor Khaopadapdin, The festival That Feeds The Spirits

17 Aug , 2020  

Boun Hor Khaopadapdin is an annual festival during which the people of Laos “feed” spirits with home-made parcels of food, reflecting their love, respect and gratitude for their deceased ancestors and guardians.

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Becoming a Buddhist Monk

Culture

Ordaining a Buddhist Monk

11 Aug , 2020  

Reposted from the diaries of Laos magazine n Laos, as in other Buddhist countries, men can be ordained as novice monks to live the monastic life for a certain period. It is also popular for children and teenagers to live as monks for a couple of months, during the summer holidays, as a means of […]

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Culture

Hardship in Laos: Can you help someone?

10 Aug , 2020  

It’s the time of year when Novice Monks finish school and many leave the temple to become laymen. School exams have finished and many novices decide to leave the temple around this time. They are often ill-prepared with little to no education about living life as a layman and no financial support. Many of these […]

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Helping Lao people with free food who lost income due to covid 19

Culture, Food

Helping the hungry In Luang Prabang

2 Aug , 2020  

A Solidarity Canteen has been setup be people living in Luang Prabang to provide food assistance to people living in Luang Prabang who are finding it difficult to eat =as many have lost their incomes due to COVID-19. Every day, this nonprofit serves lunch for everyone from 11 to 1PM at the Institut Français du […]

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Culture, Education

Blessings from a scholarship student

15 Jul , 2020  

Monk Sivone was a LEOT students and was successful in getting a scholarship to continue his study. He is one of the most motivated students I have met. He is completing his studies this year and had this to say: My name is Phra Sivone Keovilaipunya who was born and raised in the countryside at […]

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Culture

Is there enough parking in Luang Prabang?

20 Mar , 2019  

Luang Prabang is located in northern Laos at the heart of a mountainous region built on a peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers. They say Buddha would have smiled when he rested there during his travels, prophesying that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful city. […]

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Culture

The Dammed Nam Khan River

14 Mar , 2019  

I took this photo of Novices washing in the Nam Khan river on the way home today. It’s one of my favourite landscapes and I don’t stop to appreciate it enough. The bamboo bridge is up at the moment as it is dry season. It will come down when the monsoon season arrives in May. […]

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Culture

Novice Monks paint Wat Mano

13 Mar , 2019  

As I passed, Wat Mano, this morning on the way to work, I noticed a swarm of Novices up bamboo scaffolding busy painting the temple. Wat Manorom, known as Wat Mano, was built to inter the ashes of King Samsenthai (1373-1416) so it is one of the oldest sites in town and quite a large […]

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Culture, Travel

Getting around Luang Prabang

12 Mar , 2019  

I was back at the motorbike shop this week. I’ve had a good run lately. I was going to the shop every few months since I got my fake Honda motorbike in 2016. I’ve changed shops during the last few years, from one Vietnamese shop to another. I decided bypassing the fuse to fit the […]

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Culture, Education

Students painting for exhibition

22 Jan , 2019  

LEOT School students have been learning to paint from a volunteer who has kindly been coming 3 times a week. The French Institute has allowed us to use their building in the heritage area of Luang Prabang to display the artwork. It’s an opportunity for students to publicly showcase their work and artwork sold is […]

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Culture, Travel

Wat Wisunarat (Wat Visoun) has a new watermelon

18 Jan , 2019  

Wat Wisunarat is Luang Prabang’s oldest temple and was once home to the Prabang Buddhas. It also contains what is known as the “Watermelon stupa”, build in 1530, it’s shaped like a watermelon. It is one of my first memories when I arrived in 2011. It took me a few years to remember this temple […]

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Culture

Making merit at Buddhist temple

25 Nov , 2018   Gallery

Buddhism is practiced by most Laotians life here beats to a rhythm set by the religion. Alms are given every morning at 5 am in the hot season and about 6.30 when colder. Sticky rice is washed and soaked the evening before and cooked early the next morning. Sometimes it’s mixed with banana and wrapped in […]

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Culture

History of Luang Prabang by Nat Geo

21 Nov , 2018   Video

This video by National Geographic gives you an overview of Luang Prabang and sights around the area.

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Culture, Education

Fundraising concert a hit

9 Nov , 2018  

LEOT and the Music School, both not-for-profits providing education opportunities to Lao youth held a fundraising concert on Sunday night at the beautiful Heuan Chan Heritage center in Luang Prabang, just off the main street. It took some organising and a big thank you to all those who gave us prized for the raffle. I […]

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Culture

Cats and dogs left over after rain

15 Oct , 2018   Gallery

Well the rainy season in Laos has ended and it was a bad season. There is a lot of damage to roads and of course, there was the Dam collapse in Attapeu on 23 July. It’s not raining cats and dogs anymore but there are a lot of cats and dogs in Laos. They can […]

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Culture, Travel

Phousi Mountain – Luangs Prabangs sunset vantage point

7 Apr , 2018  

Phousi Mountain or Mount Phousi as some say is a hill located in the centre of town in the heritage area, located on the peninsula between the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. The “sacred hill” is about 100 meters high. Many tourists climb the hill about 5.30pm to view the sunset so it gets rather […]

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Culture

Special guests in Luang Prabang

2 Apr , 2018  

I was very lucky to recently have my mother and brother travel to Luang Prabang to visit me. The week was wonderful and we saw some of the spectacular sites Luang Prabang has to offer as well as spending time helping at school.   We also visited the famous Pak Ou caves and the Luang […]

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Culture, Education

Novice Bountay and his village school

31 Mar , 2018  

Novice Bountay is an inspiring person. He has been a student at LEOT (a free charity school) for 2 years now and excels in our computer class. Like other Novices, he goes to Buddhist high school each day and somehow manages to find time to study English, photography and a number of other interests. Read […]

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Culture

Watch the new covert war doco through the stories of Hmong elders

26 Jan , 2018  

Not many people know about the secret war in Laos and the way it affects local people’s lives today in 2018. Many centres have a UXO centre which have information, bombs, and interesting videos. If you visit Luang Prabang you can be sure I’ll take you to the small, interesting UXO centre. The recent documentary by […]

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Culture

Long Chieng – off-limits for 50 years

13 Jan , 2018  

Abandoned in 1975 in one of the last acts of the war, Long Chieng was once the busiest airport in the world and has been off-limits for 50 years. Home to Lao Air Force T-28 bombers and Pilatus Porters, Helio Couriers and an assortment of helicopters, mostly flown by Air America and Continental Air Services. […]

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Culture

Checking out new house builds in Luang Prabang

9 Dec , 2017   Gallery

Here are the teachers having some fun with sunglasses. One is currently building a house for his family in a local village and we drove our motorbikes there last week to share lunch and check our progress. Impressive progress has been made. It is amazing how much can be done in just a few weeks. It’s […]

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Culture

Weddings and Baby parties

4 Dec , 2017   Gallery

November has been a month of baby bacis and wedding parties. A Baci is ritual used to celebrate important events and occasions, like births and marriages and also entering the monkhood, departing, returning, beginning a new year. It involves chanting by an elder and tying strings around a person’s wrist to preserve good luck, and […]

Culture

China-Laos ties rise to a new level

2 Dec , 2017  

An Asian elephant from Laos is off landed to begin its life in a zoo in Dongguan, South China’s Guangdong Province on May 7, 2016. Photo: VCG Laos and China ties are strong and continue to increase. Article published in globaltimes.cn “Speaking Chinese will open up new opportunities for me. With many Lao people keen […]

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Culture

Lao people display incredible strength, living with 80 million unexploded bombs

22 Nov , 2017   Video

“This Little Land of Mines,” a documentary by American University Student Fellow Erin McGoff, is now accepting donations through the Independent Filmmaker Project. As the production enters its second phase of filming, it is looking for support from viewers who want to see the development of the full-length documentary. “This Little Land of Mines” documents the […]

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Culture

The Giving ການໃຫ້ – a short film by novice monk students

25 Oct , 2017   Video

Another short film made by students in the summer 2017 film class @ My Library in Luang Prabang. MyLibrary has been around since 2003 started as an English support centre free for anyone to drop in and learn. As they say, it is an example of  “what happens when you give motivated users the materials […]

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Culture

Boun Lai Heua Fai (Festival of Light Boats) 2017

18 Oct , 2017   Video

ພາບບັນຍາກາດບຸນໄຫຼເຮືອໄຟ ທີ່ຫຼວງພະບາງ 2017 Boun Lai Heua Fai (Festival of Light Boats) 2017, the most beautiful time of year in Luang Prabang with the temple all lit up to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent.

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Culture

Vietnam Secret Ops Army Medic to Receive Medal of Honor from Trump

7 Oct , 2017  

President Donald Trump on Oct. 23 will award the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Gary Rose, an Army medic who was involved in secret operations in Laos during the Vietnam War. The Huntsville, Alabama, man during an assault on his unit in the jungles of Laos continued to treat wounded troops after being wounded himself, […]

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Culture

Laos and Cambodia eliminate trachoma

1 Oct , 2017  

September 21, 2017, Helio.com Trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide, has been eliminated as a public health problem in Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, according to a WHO press release. WHO launched the Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 in 1997, and in 1998 the World Health […]

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Culture, Education

Lao teenagers beating poverty as novice monks

19 Aug , 2017   Gallery

Many of the students at the school I work at in Luang Prabang are novice monks. It is certainly a sight to behold – a classroom bathed in bright saffron robes beneath a sea of shaved heads (and eyebrows). People outside Laos find it interesting as to why so many novice monks come to school without […]

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Culture

Chinese bring safe drinking water to Laos village while building railway

16 Aug , 2017  

Parts of Laos do not have clean drinking water. The Chinese are building a railway through Laos over the next 5 years. One company has been recognized for helping a local village of 250 people providing safe drinking water. Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-09 00:38:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan VIENTIANE, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — China’s Sinohydro Bureau 14 Co., Ltd […]

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laos-blood-donation

Culture

Giving blood – Lao Red Cross

25 Jun , 2017  

Recently I took a morning off work to catch up on a few errands. One of these was to make time to give blood at the Lao Friends Hospital Visitor Centre n Luang Prabang. It was a simple process and everyone was very friendly. I had a finger pricked and tests were taken and a […]

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Culture

A day in a Buddhist Temple in Luang Prabang, Laos

11 Jun , 2017   Video

I love this temple, it always feels very peaceful. Tourists know Tak Bat as the age-old and picturesque daily Buddhist Alms Giving procession of the monks. This is a glimpse into daily life as a monk or novice and also a reminder to tourists how to behave at a temple and when observing Alms Giving. The […]

Culture

A glimpse into life in Luang Prabang

27 Feb , 2017   Video

In this 3 minute video, I show you a few scenes around Luang Prabang, life at the school where I volunteer and a brief insight to a village up river we got to by ‘long boat’. I will return soon to continue developing computer teaching programmes, running teacher training workshops and assisting Lao teachers in […]

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Culture

Women’s invisible burden

21 Feb , 2017  

The struggle for dignified and meaningful livelihoods in the informal sector in Lao PDR Key Facts: Women represent more than 90 per cent of vendors in fresh food markets across the country. Market vendors earn 100,000-500,000 LAK (12 – 62 USD) on a daily average. Women market vendors in Vientiane have faced exorbitant rent and […]

Culture, Food

Nightlife in Laos – Eating at a Beer bar

21 Jan , 2017  

So what do local restaurants in Luang Prabang look like? Here is your intro to a local “Beer bar”. I enjoy the odd night out to a local restaurant to enjoy a meal and sometimes a few beers. The food is usually excellent and one of my favourites – sweet and sour whole fish (usually […]

Culture

The UXO problem in Laos

22 Dec , 2016   Video

This is a great video by the COPE Centre Laos explains the unexploded bomb problem in Laos. The US Airforce in 1963 dropped the 1st bombs on Laos in what would be a 9 year Secret War. The daily reality is that 300 people a year are injured or killed by bombies (the small bombs released […]

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Culture

Cambodian Fishermen Hanging Up Nets as Laos Presses Ahead with Another Dam

15 Dec , 2016  

At the local fish market here along the banks of the Tonle Sap, the morning harvest is enormous. Prized catfish, among other species, dominate sales as buyers for restaurants pile in for the biggest and best on offer. Early business is brisk for the fish farmers who bred and reared their fish securely in ponds. […]

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Culture

Decades on, millions of unexploded American bombs left behind still kill and maim in Laos

5 Dec , 2016   Video

Special correspondent Mike Cerre offers a glimpse of life in Laos today and the mission to end the deadly legacy of the Secret War.

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Culture

New Zealand Provides $11.5 Million to Support UXO Clearance in Laos

20 Nov , 2016  

New Zealand will provide an extra 11.5 million dollars to help clear unexploded landmines left over in Laos following the Vietnam war. US planes dropped more than 270 million munition in Laos between 1964 and 1973. Visiting Laos as part of the ASEAN summit, US President Barack Obama announced an extra $90 million to help […]

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Culture

A short film: New Day ຈົວຕົ້ນຄົນໃໝ່

10 Nov , 2016   Video

This short film made by students in the summer 2016 film class @ My Library in Luang Prabang shows the talent of young film makers as well as a glimpse into temple life as a Novice Monk.

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Culture, Education

Weekend trip to village to give donated items

6 Oct , 2016   Video

On Saturday volunteers and teachers travelled to Nam Nga village 90 mins north of Luang Prabang to see how we can help with their water supply, leaking roof and toilets at their village school. We also gave out the clothes, toothbrushes, books and stationery we collected. We had lunch with the headman and school director […]

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Culture

Laos US: Obama regrets ‘biggest bombing in history’ – BBC News

7 Sep , 2016  

Barack Obama announces a major funding boost for the removal of unexploded US ordnance in Laos though some question what real difference it can make. Source: Laos US: Obama regrets ‘biggest bombing in history’ – BBC News

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Culture

Boat Racing Festival in Luang Prabang, Laos 2016

3 Sep , 2016   Video

In Luang Prabang, Boun Suang Heua, or the Boat Racing Festival is held on Khao Padapdin, the Day of the Commemoration of the Dead  (in August usually but this year it was yesterday on 2 September). In Vientiane Capital it is held the day after the End of Buddhist Lent. Both are important social and […]

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Culture

America’s shame: The unspoken danger of Lao’s hidden bombs

23 Aug , 2016  

It was learning about UXO, originally in Cambodia (2010) and then Laos (2011), that is one of the motivators if me becoming involved with my volunteer work. If you don’t know what happened, here is a brief article about the problem. Article by Dung Phan 21 Aug 2016 It was a cold day in Laos, and huddled around […]

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Culture

Thanks for donating

24 Jun , 2016  

I wouldn’t be able to do this volunteer work without support from others. The support of my IT clients allowing me e to work remotely and that of family and friends. I spend a lot of time gathering things that maybe old to us but of use to those struggling in Laos. This year, in addition to some […]

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Culture

Elephants in Luang Prabang for new year

16 Apr , 2016   Video

It is Lao New Year now (Pimai), one of the most important dates in the Lao calendar. Although officially a three-day festival in Luang Prabang, the party always goes on for at least a week. Officially the last day of the year, 13th April is traditionally a day of renewal, the main symbol of which is […]

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Culture

Without mindfulness film

16 Mar , 2016   Video

“Without Mindfulness” a short film made at the summer filmmaking workshop @ My Library won first prize at the Vientianale film festival last night! Congratulations to the filmmakers novice Mai Latanavong Novice Bouasy, former Novice Somjai Soulivongvang and Novice Touly, and the others who helped: Vanhxai Thor Zua Lee Leeoneyang Yang and Youa Lao. Congratulations […]

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Culture, Travel

Magical Laotian Town Preserved by UNESCO Loses Its Soul

30 Jan , 2016  

This article by DENIS D. GRAY: AP has been posted on so many sites including NZ news media. There is a lot of truth to this. it is sad that locals are gone and their places taken by outsiders and foreigners. I feel that foreigners living in Luang Prabang seem to respect the local customs and […]

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Culture

Domestic violence in Laos

23 Jan , 2016  

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Culture, Education

Death of a school student

21 Jan , 2016  

Today has been a very sad day with the news of the death of one of the school students. We all realise that life can be snatched away very quickly in the developing world yet we still reel against its unfairness. Novice Luk celebrated his 21st Birthday just a few days ago. He was a […]

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Culture

How Roche enabled me to setup computer teaching in Laos

18 Dec , 2015  

In early July Peter a trustee of the charity school in Laos, spoke with me and asked if I was able to spend a few months in Laos to establish permanent computer teaching programme. I agreed to try and work something out and only days later I woke to a swollen arm and was admitted to […]

Culture, Travel

Luang Prabang temples

2 Nov , 2015   Video

Luang Prabang has 33 Buddhist temples. This short video is of some smaller less glamorous temples than Vat Xieng Thong for example. Sit back, relax and take in the peacefulness of Luang Prabang, Laos.  

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Culture

Local Lao drummer

27 Sep , 2015  

ກຳເນີດອີກແລ້ວ ນັກດົນຕີບ້ານນາ ກັບຈັ່ງຫວະມັນມັນ! ວິດີໂອຈາກ: ໂຊໂຊແຄ້ມ

Culture, Travel

Delivering aid to three villages decimated by flash flooding

22 Sep , 2015   Video

On Saturday, teachers and volunteers from school in Luang Prabang joined friends from a Laos organisation Education and Sharing to deliver aid to three villages decimated by flash flooding at the end of the monsoon season. The villagers had no warning of the impending disaster as it had not rained for many days. Four people […]

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Culture, Food, Travel

My experience in Luang Prabang 2015

13 Sep , 2015   Video

So two weeks have past since arriving on my 5th trip to Luang Prabang, I have been busy everyday helping at school, setting up computers for the new computer teaching programme and other IT administration tasks. Laos is deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions and it does feel like time has stopped here especially in the […]

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Culture

Donate your old smart phone

15 Jun , 2015  

Do you have an unused smartphone you can donate for a student in Laos? Laos is a communist country with a population of 6.477.211 people. The GDP per capita is $2700 USD, with 67% of the population living outside of urban centers. Laos has a very young population, with a median age of 21 years. […]