Laos: Legacies of War and a Promising Future

Riding through the countryside of Laos’ remote Xieng Khouang province, we spied verdant rolling hills, villagers of all ages escorting livestock on the dusty roadside, and giant craters disfiguring the landscape. For an instant, these cavities in the red earth evoked images of sand traps on golf courses. However, with Laos’ unfortunate distinction of being the world’s most bombed country per capita, not much golf is being played here.

Guided by a local father-and-son team, we had embarked on a day trip to visit the country’s mysterious archaeological treasure: the Plain of Jars. We would also visit two villages: Ban Naphia and Ban Tajok, nicknamed ‘Spoon Village’ and ‘Bomb Village,’ respectively.

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Photo Du Jour: Nagas, the Fire Serpents of the Mekong

 

Some Laotians and Thais believe that serpent-like creatures (nagas) inhabit the chocolate-colored waters of the Mekong River. In Lao mythology, nagas protect Laos’ capital city, Vientiane, and beyond. These snake-like creatures also adorn many nooks and crannies of Laos’ jewel city, Luang Prabang. Some followers of Buddhism even attribute mysterious fireball-like projectiles to the Mekong’s resident nagas, whereas scientists believe the flares of light are the result of bubbling methane.

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Photo Du Jour: A Quasi Cupid & Flowers for Buddha

It’s not your traditional Valentine’s Day imagery, yet these captures from our recent visit to Buddha Park – just outside of Vientiane, Laos – seemed so Cupid Day’esque.

Wishing you a splendid Valentine’s Day!

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell . All Rights Reserved.