Sticky Rice for the Spirits

Traditional Hmong New Year, with Heels

20 Dec 2009

This week, the Hmong in Laos, one of the country's larger ethnic groups, are celebrating their New Year Festival.  The ... read more

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Stories

LaosLaos

A Monk's Disrobing

For the last four years, Ounheuan Vongsa has prayed at this altar every morning and every evening. He has also ... read more

21 Jun 2010
 

LaosLaos

SLIDESHOW: Orange And Other Colors Of Laos

Children sit along the morning almsgiving route to receive handouts from monks. The monks who walk these roads every morning ... read more

21 Jun 2010
 

LaosLaos

ETHICAL DILEMMA: Photographing Cultural Ceremonies

It is the crack of dawn in Luang Prabang and hundreds of young monks are filing through the streets. They wear orange robes, which paint the street in warm hues ... read more

31 May 2010
 

Insider Tips

Food

flagLaos

Put the utensils down and get your hands sticky

The fastest way to sound the Falang (foreigner) alarm in Laos is to try to eat your sticky rice with a knife and fork. So put the utensils down and ... read more

01 Sep 2009
Dating

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Keep it under wraps

It is illegal for a foreigner to have sex with a Lao person, unless they are legally married. If you plan to, you risk being deported, or worse--spending time in ... read more

25 Sep 2009
Health

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Got the sniffles? Your doctor's just a flight away.

The health care system in Laos leaves a lot to be desired. For example, the website of Luang Prabang's largest hospital lists abortion as one of the most common ... read more

25 Sep 2009
Religion

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Show your respect by keeping your distance

Luang Prabang is quite a religious city. Each village provides food and funding for its individual temple on a daily basis. It is perfectly acceptable and sometimes even encouraged for ... read more

25 Sep 2009
Politics

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Don't talk politics in public

When the communists took over Laos, many royalists left the country. A large number have returned, but few have wanted to regain their citizenship. As the government is somewhat wary ... read more

25 Sep 2009
Must Do

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Get to gabbing with the boys in orange

Luang Prabang is well known for its more than 30 temples and hundreds of monks. One of the best things to do in town is totally free, but terribly rewarding ... read more

25 Sep 2009
Being an American

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Lao people like Americans, despite our past

In the '60s and '70s, the US government dropped over 2 million tons of bombs on Laos, making it the most heavily bombed country in the world. Despite this fact ... read more

01 Oct 2009
Sports

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Two unusual sports: pentaque and kator

Lao people are big fans of soccer, which, of course, they call "football" when speaking English. But make sure to check out two other very popular sports: pentaque, which is ... read more

01 Oct 2009
Festivals & Events

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All eyes will be on you

If you are going to a big festival anywhere outside of the capital city, expect stares. Villagers will come in from all around the region, and they may not be ... read more

01 Oct 2009
Books

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Throw a book party

There is a dearth of books in Laos. While you are visiting, consider stopping by a Big Brother Mouse office. The organization publishes children's books in Lao, English, and ... read more

22 Oct 2009
Getting Around

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Slow cars and fast motorbikes

The city center of Luang Praban is very walkable, so there's not much need for a vehicle. But if you are go out of town, or you decide to ... read more

22 Oct 2009
Culture Shock

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Learn a few simple words

The best way to get over the initial culture shock of Laos is to learn a few simple words. These new words or phrases will always be conversation starters--especially if ... read more

22 Oct 2009
Fashion

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Keep it covered

When in Luang Prabang and most towns in Laos, it's best to dress conservatively. This means keeping your shirt on in public, wearing pants or shorts that hit somewhere ... read more

22 Oct 2009
Nightlife

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Wrist-twirling dances or cheap beer

In Luang Prabang, your nightlife options are somewhat limited, with two main nightclubs in town. Dao Fa is more popular for the younger crowd, and plays western and Thai pop ... read more

30 Nov 2009
Slang

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Laoglish

Some more modern slang involves the incorporation of English words into the Lao lexicon, often with a unique pronunciation for the added word. For example, many people say "khawy bo ... read more

30 Nov 2009
TV

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Stick to the foreign-made stuff

The two television channels in Laos are of embarrassingly poor quality. The sounds is terrible, the camera work shoddy, and the hosts obnoxious. You would be better off watching Thai-dubbed ... read more

30 Nov 2009
Music

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Lao and louder

The Lao have an insatiable appetite for loud music, and at all times of the day. If you plan to attend a wedding or new baby party, be prepared to ... read more

30 Nov 2009
Packing

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Pack light and keep your parts unbleached

Packing light is almost always the way to go when traveling. In Laos, the laundry service is cheap and reliable (same day service could be as inexpensive as 60 cents ... read more

30 Nov 2009
Film

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Put down your books and beer, and watch a movie instead

There have only been a few films that have been made in Laos in the past 30 years, but that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities to watch international ... read more

30 Nov 2009
Etiquette

flagLaos

Keep your volume on low

It's likely that, at some point on your trip to Laos, something won't go your way. If you are unable to just let the problem go, it's ... read more

30 Nov 2009
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