The Lao People’s Democratic Republic, in short Laos, was my next travel destination for this year. Laos, a landlocked country with borders shared amongst many countries such as China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia, is exposed to a wide variety of cultures and tribes. This country however has had experienced great hardship during the Vietnam war. Many evidences have supported this claim that the Americans have more bombs dropped in Laos than bombs fell in all parts of Europe during the Word War II; up to 30% of those bombs have failed to detonate, exacerbating there then already impaired country and economy situation. Many Laotians have hence fled to France and Thailand as refugees. Sadly, even until today, many Laotians have been affected and severely injured by bombs left after the Vietnam war. Nearly as much as eighty millions of bombs have yet to be detonated spreading across vast land mass – farms, villages, jungles and rivers; a never – ending threat to the daily livelihood of the people. This ongoing consequences of war in Laos makes me reflect how fortunate I am living in a safe and well secured country like Singapore.
Arrived at my destination – Luang Prabang, it seems that I have entered back to the period of 1950s – 1960s. Shop houses along the main city street are mostly made from bricks decorated with a touch of French colonial architecture. Roaming around Luang Prabang, you will surprisingly find many preserved French colonial houses preserved which are left over during the French Colonial Empire in South East Asia, giving a sense of nostalgic recollection about the old colonial period. Intrigued to having a feel of how colonists used to live, I booked my stay at one of these old colonial houses. During my visit in Laos, it happened that US President Obama was in Laos to discuss about US plans in Laos. He is the first US sitting president to visit Laos; he has pledged to increase US contribution in 2017 to fund bomb clearance activity.
Laos. Despite having multiple culture facets from different borders, the Laotian’s culture seems to be dominantly skewed to Thai’s culture. For instance, food in Lao and Thailand is almost identical except that Laotian preferred sticky rice as well as grilled dry meat. More than 66% of Laotians are Buddhist, resulting in numerous number of Wats in but not limited to Luang Prabang, Laos. Luang Prabang is hence recognised as one of the UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. For people who are staying in Asia and who wish to explore a new area within South East Asia, this could be your place for a short escape from your stressful work.
(Please do keep in mind that since it is a touristic place, food prices will be adjusted higher for travelling in this area)
Below are some of the pictures I took during this trip:
All Photographs on this Blog, Copyright © 2015 Kimy Chang, All rights reserved