Laos

Featured Titles
Guide To Orchids Of Laos, AGuide To Orchids Of Laos, A by Gale, Stephan; Pankaj Kumar & T Phaxaysombath

Laos is a landlocked country that lies at the heart of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the world's most biodiverse and most threatened eco-regions. To date, 683 orchid species have been recorded in Laos, accounting for more than 13% of its known flora, and this list will undoubtedly grow. This handy guide book to these amazing plants provides succinct descriptions and full colour photographs to a selection of 125 native species, introducing the reader to the key morphological and ecological features that distinguish them.

Changing Lives In Laos: Society, Politics And Culture In A Post-Socialist StateChanging Lives In Laos: Society, Politics And Culture In A Post-Socialist State by Boute, Vanina; Vatthana Pholsena (Eds.)

During the last two decades, Laos has undergone major transformations due to a massive influx of foreign investment. Improved communications and new forms of mobility have dramatically altered rural life. Changing Lives in Laos brings together contributions from young scholars that look closely at these transitions and the resulting rise of a new social, cultural, and economic order. The essays in this volume draw on original fieldwork and provide fresh analyses of topics such as the structures of power, the politics of territoriality, and new forms of sociability in emerging urban spaces.

Tending The Spirits: The Shamanic Experience In Northeastern LaosTending The Spirits: The Shamanic Experience In Northeastern Laos by Findly, Ellison Banks

This study of shamans in northeastern Laos details the call, training, and ritual practice of female and male healers, as well as of male funeral shamans who guide the deceased's spirit to heaven. It is based almost exclusively on interviews with shamans and weavers in mountain and urban villages of Hua Phan province, and draws information almost entirely from the oral tradition of the shamans themselves, illuminating the multivalent complexities of belief and practice as they evolve over time. The relation between the shaman and the weaver is a symbiotic one, with the shaman chanting out visual images in his trance narrative, and the weaver translating what she hears into mythic, hybrid images on the loom. Thus the powerful, transformative ritual textile is born. Unfortunately, Lao-Tai shamanism is today at a cross-roads: global connections and the incursion of things like western medicine may render some of the practices obsolete. The shamans themselves, however - female and male alike - believe that both the healing and funeral traditions can adapt to modern times, and can continue to serve the Tai populace they have benefited for so long.

Lao Postcards By Alfred Raquez: A Collection Of His 166 Postcards From 1906Lao Postcards By Alfred Raquez: A Collection Of His 166 Postcards From 1906 by Ande, Diethard

This is a first attempt to bring together the 166 postcards that were produced in six series of 25 each as Collection Raquez and 16 out-of-series postcards produced by Decoly as Cliché Raquez and later also under his brand La Pagode. Raquez was the first traveler who systematically made photos in Laos around 1900. He made seven trips in Laos; the longest journey was seven months. Raquez organized the Lao Pavilion at the 1906 Marseille Exhibition, showing his large collection of textiles and artifacts gathered from around Laos.

Sacred Caves Of Tam Ting (Pak On), Luang Prabung, Laos: Mystery, Splendor, And DesecrationSacred Caves Of Tam Ting (Pak On), Luang Prabung, Laos: Mystery, Splendor, And Desecration by Egloff, Brian; Kristin Kelly

The Tam Ting (Pak Ou) Caves, are located some 25km north of the World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, Laos. In 1992, as Laos was beginning to open up to the world, the University of Canberra and the Department of Information and Culture of the Lao People's Democratic Republic began a five-year collaboration on the conservation of the two caves and on the hundreds of Buddha statues that were found there. The team conducted all work to the highest standards permitted by the circumstances. But ten years after the close of the conservation project, many of the beautiful Buddha figures were gone, taken from their home and yet to be recovered. This is the story of the eaves, of the collaborative international conservation project, and of what happened after the project closed in 1997. It places the caves in context and explains their significance and beauty. The book is both a cautionary tale about the importance and fragility of material cultural heritage, and a message of hope for the future of heritage conservation in the region.

Contemporary LaosContemporary Laos by Kham Vorapheth

This book provides a critical look at obstacles to the development of the Laos state. It explores different facets of its political, economic, societal, and cultural history and focuses on the current period of unfinished transition. It offers an analysis of the geopolitical position of Laos, its relations with the global powers and with its ASEAN partners, and its efforts to maintain equilibrium with Vietnam and China. This book reflects on other themes: How will Laos reach its destiny? Is the coexistence of a state capitalist economy and a particularly rigid political system sustainable in the long term? What role could the Lao diaspora play in the modernization of the country? What are Laos's priorities? Where is Laos heading?

Trends In Southeast Asia 2015 #07: Chinese Engagement In Laos: Past, Present, And Uncertain FutureTrends In Southeast Asia 2015 #07: Chinese Engagement In Laos: Past, Present, And Uncertain Future by Tan, Danielle

During the colonial period, Laos welcomed the smallest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, communities that almost disappeared after the communist forces seized power in Laos in 1975. Yet, this landlocked country shares a long history with China and even experienced a Golden Age thanks to the thriving caravan trade between Yunnan and mainland Southeast Asia. This paper argues that China's growing presence is far from eroding the power of the Lao communist regime. Instead, Chinese engagement allows the Lao state to cope with the challenges of globalization and to maintain its power at the same time. The paper will highlight Chinese engagement in Laos throughout history by emphasizing their recurrent patterns of intermediation. Then, it will describe how Chinese networks have become key partners of the Lao state's development policies. However, rising uncertainties over the neighbouring communist ally's economic potential may push China to revise its development strategy in Laos.

Ancient Luang Prabang & Laos (Revised & Expanded)Ancient Luang Prabang & Laos (Revised & Expanded) by Heywood, Denise

Laos is one of the most beguiling destinations in Southeast Asia. This fully revised and updated cultural guide includes all the key sites in a country of unique artistic and geographical richness. The main focus remains Luang Prabang, high in the mist-shrouded mountains of the north, cut through by the Mekong river, a remote town of glittering Buddhist temples and saffron robed monks. The natural setting of the town, on a promontory by the river, encircled by an amphitheatre of steep, verdant mountains enhances its jewel-like identity. Luang Prabang is a treasure trove of sacred art dating from the 17th century. There are 35 Buddhist temples, carved from wood, exquisitely frescoed and gilded, with layered roofs sweeping to the ground. Interiors are adorned with Buddha images of serene grace and dignity. With the arrival of the French colonisers in the 19th century came a secular architectural tradition. The fusion of these two disparate cultures resulted in a singular beauty. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang is considered the best preserved town in Southeast Asia. Visit the historic capital Vientiane and travel to the enigmatic Plain of Jars or journey south on the Mekong to Wat Phu and admire the beauty of its breathtaking riverside location. The temple, uncovered by archaeologists who were part of the French 'mission civilisatrice' and creators of the elegant colonial buildings of Luang Prabang, dates from the 6th century and forms the northernmost point of the Khmer empire. Laos is revealed as a place of artistic diversity and ancient history steeped in myth and legend.

Fields Of Desire: Poverty And Policy In LaosFields Of Desire: Poverty And Policy In Laos by High, Holly

In this important new book, High argues that poverty reduction policies are formulated and implemented in fields of desire. Drawing on psychoanalytic understandings of desire, she shows that such programs circulate around the question of what is lacking. Far from rational responses to measures of need, then, the politics of poverty are unconscious, culturally expressed, mutually contradictory, and sometimes contrary to self-interests. Based on long-term fieldwork in a Lao village that has been the subject of multiple poverty reduction and development programs, High's account looks at implementation on the ground. While these efforts were laudable in their aims of reducing poverty, they often failed to achieve their objectives. Local people received them with suspicion and disillusionment. Nevertheless, poverty reduction policies continued to be renewed by planners and even desired locally. High relates this to the force of aspirations among rural Lao, ambivalent understandings of power and "post-rebellious" moment in contemporary Laos.

Stateless: Diary Of A Spirited Boy At Napho Camp by Saephan, Sanva

This personal and informal narrative in diary form tells of the early years of a Mienh boy from the Highlands of Laos who was born in 1987 in a refugee camp in Thailand. Through the eyes of a child the reader sees the limited and hard but often very positive and happy life in Napho Camp as it was before the family returned to Laos when he was 7. The author, who now works in a bank in Singapore, will give any profits to a much-needed school in Bokeo, Laos.

Insight Guides: Laos & CambodiaInsight Guides: Laos & Cambodia by

Insight Guide Laos and Cambodia is the most comprehensive full colour travel guide to these two beguiling countries, and provides both inspiration and information to plan a memorable trip to Indochina. The Best Of section shows you the unmissable experiences - Angkor, the region's most spectacular sight, as well as the two contrasting capitals: laid-back, French-influenced Vientiane in Laos and Phnom Penh, Cambodia's animated capital on the banks of the Mekong River, plus relaxing beaches and islands.

Universe Unraveling, The: American Foreign Policy In Cold War LaosUniverse Unraveling, The: American Foreign Policy In Cold War Laos by Jacobs, Seth

During the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, Laos was positioned to become a major front in the Cold War. Yet American policymakers ultimately chose to resist communism in neighboring South Vietnam instead. Two generations of historians have explained this decision by citing logistical considerations. The Universe Unraveling is a provocative reinterpretation of U.S.-Laos relations in the years leading up to the Vietnam War. Seth Jacobs argues that Laos boasted several advantages over South Vietnam as a battlefield, notably its thousand-mile border with Thailand, whose leader was willing to allow Washington to use his nation as a base from which to attack the communist Pathet Lao. The Universe Unraveling combines diplomatic, cultural, and military history to provide a new perspective on how prejudice can shape policy decisions and even the course of history. With notes and index.

Whole Neu World, A: 18 Months In LaosWhole Neu World, A: 18 Months In Laos by Neu Wee Teck

A Whole Neu World is an engaging account of Neu Wee Teck's (mis)adventures in Laos and his encounters with its lovely people during his stint as a volunteer teacher with the Singapore International Foundation. Besides his official assignment of teaching English to government officials in Vientiane, he managed to find time to chew bamboo larvae and duck out of drinking duck blood in the mountains of north-eastern Laos, fend off the matchmaking attempts of a noodle seller, help out at village schools, and organise the first Laos-Singapore Charity Run.

Britain And The Neutralisation Of LaosBritain And The Neutralisation Of Laos by Tarling, Nicholas

This study focuses on the Geneva conference on Laos of 1961-2, which Britain played a role in bringing about and bringing to a conclusion. It throws light on Britain's policy in Southeast Asia in what in some sense may be seen as the last of the decades in which its influence was crucial. It is the first book to make full use of the British archives on the conference. The book also bears on the history of Laos, of Vietnam, and of Southeast Asia more generally. The core of the Geneva Settlement was the neutralisation of Laos. That was, however, an argument for the United States to strengthen its commitment to Thailand and Vietnam. It could, moreover, be accepted by North Vietnam only if it did not prevent continued use of the Ho Chi Minh trail, through which it could sustain resistance in South Vietnam. Under such circumstances, the agreement on neutralisation, though elaborately negotiated, had little chance of success. In the longer term, however, it was not without its legacy, for the agreement played a part in developing the concept of a neutral Southeast Asia that ASEAN was later to advance.

Enchanting LaosEnchanting Laos by Shippen, Mick

This richly illustrated softback gives the tourist or new resident an overview of Laos, its people, culture, traditions, built heritage, and natural environment. While not a guide book, there are notes on how to get around and resource lists.

Lao Cooking And The Essence Of LifeLao Cooking And The Essence Of Life by Xaixana Champanakone

A rare cookbook about Lao cooking. There is an accompanying DVD with 333 photos of Viangchan and Lao music.

Lost In LaosLost In Laos by Laube, Lydia

Global traveller Lydia Laube visits Laos, the Land of a Million Elephants. Lydia discovers a people and land easy to love. Travelling by boat, tuk tuk or any other means possible, she experiences the majesty of the Mekong River, the awe-inspiring Caves of the Buddha and the mysterious Plains of Jars. Pink umbrella aloft, nothing could daunt our lone traveller - not even fire and flood. Lost in Laos is Lydia's eighth book in a series of amusing and informative travel books.

Lao Contemporary Art. La Peinture Contemporaine LaoLao Contemporary Art. La Peinture Contemporaine Lao by

A summary history of painting and the study of Fine Arts in Laos introduces this collection of works by contemporary artists. Some 120 paintings by 25 artists are presented with biographical summaries. These indicate the lively and creative pattern of Lao painting of today. Trilingual in Lao, French and English.

Festivals Of LaosFestivals Of Laos by Stuart-Fox, Martin; Somsanouk Mixay

Laos is a land of festivals. Every village, every temple, and every ethnic minority not only holds its own special festivals but also joins the wider Lao community in celebrating the national ones as well. This book explores the most important festivals of Laos and offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into the spiritual and communal life of the Lao people. Written and photographed by experts in Lao history, society, and culture, this volume is a wonderful combination of insightful narrative and stunning photography.

History Of Aid To Laos: Motivations And ImpactsHistory Of Aid To Laos: Motivations And Impacts by Phraxayavong, Viliam

History of Aid to Laos is the first comprehensive publication on development assistance to the aid-dependent country of Laos. Written by a former senior Lao official in international cooperation, the book investigates the situation of a country dependent on foreign aid for more than half a century and the ways in which donor nations have shaped Lao development and political relationships through the aid process. The book traces foreign aid to Laos beginning with the French administration in the 1950s, through American military-dominated assistance targeted to defeat communism, the communist bloc's economic rescue and the related political upheaval, the increasing dominance of financial institutions and Western bilateral donors as Laos's economy opened up, and finally, the ascendant influence and assistance of neighbouring countries, notably China, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Malaysia and Korea, which have rushed into Laos' open market economy to exploit its natural resources and eco-tourism potential. After decades of foreign aid, Laos is left with a continuing dependence on development assistance, a status as one of the world's Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and a host of new and old problems such as human trafficking, drug addiction, corruption, acute lack of human resources, and environmental degradation from mining, dams, and other "fruits" of economic development.