Laos (IV): The Bolaven Plateau

Laos isn’t exactly a rich country, except if we consider its ethnic and biodiversity. Years of civil war and multiple foreign intrusions crippled the country’s development. I knew that Laos remained one of the most heavily bombed countries on the planet. What I didn’t suspect was that the remainders of those days were still very much present on the ground, in the form of bomb craters, outer bomb shells lying around or used as building materials and warning signs for UXO (unexploded ordnance) that are still buried under the ground. I had the feeling that Laotians prefer to skip this subject matter in their chats – at least with foreigners – perhaps because the wounds open in those troubled times are not yet completely healed.

Leaving Pakse – Laos, 2013

Cutlery makers and their dog – Outside Pakse, Laos. 2013

Tad Fane, Pakse, Laos. 2013

Coffe beans – Thateng, Laos. 2013

As I went further East and up North into the mountains, I could notice people struggling much harder for their daily life. Everything there is primordial and if it wasn’t for the occasional satellite dishes or some parked pickup trucks, I might think I was traveling back in time. Many people live by the roads in fragile little wooden or bamboo houses and children walk around dirty and barefooted. Even in ethnic villages supported by cultural preservation projects from local and foreign governments, poverty is very tangible.

The Bolaven Plateau has a unique fresh climate given by its altitude and the region just oozes with natural beauty. A Garden of Eden, inhabited by people who deserved to enjoy the beauty of their land in a much more comfortable way…

Laos, August, 2013.

Lakhao Village, Thateng, Laos. 2013

Lakhao Village, Thateng, Laos. 2013

American bomb – Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Drying peanuts – Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Huay Hun, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

Tad Pha Suam, Bolaven Plateau, Laos. 2013

 All photographs by António Marques – © António Marques Photoblog, 2014

I wish you all a Happy New 2014. Thank you for stopping by.


6 responses

  1. This post is awesome! Happy New year!

    January 1, 2014 at 23:41

    • António Marques

      Thank you, 76SF for visiting and commenting!

      January 2, 2014 at 20:19

  2. Been to Laos my self very interesting country. Very welcoming people, I found it really different to Thailand. If I was going out to South East Asia again I would defo go the Laos.

    January 2, 2014 at 23:03

    • António Marques

      Well, Ryan; I´ve never been in any other SE Asian countries besides Thailand and Laos… but I can say I liked both very much, although for different reasons.

      January 3, 2014 at 18:12

  3. Great photos, thanks for sharing. I am heading to Laos for the first in a couple weeks and appreciated a sneak preview of life there.

    January 11, 2014 at 12:06

    • António Marques

      Thanks.Things tend to go slow in Laos but that´s really the spirit there and if you appreciate raw natural beauty, you will get plenty. You can see my other posts on my trip to Laos, last August, here:
      Enjoy your stay!

      January 11, 2014 at 20:02

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