Tag Archives: Laos

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Snake and Scorpion Liquor, a Perfect Present

On a trip to Laos, recently, my parents found the perfect birthday present for Michelle: matching bottles of snake and scorpion booze. Recognizing the fact that my mom doesn't drink, this strange gift oozes with awesomeness. "Don't drink it all at once," my dad said. Unlike my mom, he's a fantastic tippler. The ...

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Incredible Low-Tech Laotian Merry-Go-Round


When I was living in Kathmadu 20 years ago (yow!) this summer, I found this awesomely makeshift ferris wheel in a nearby theme park.  A teenager would stand in the middle, and walk from one bar to the next, giving passengers a slow, staggered ride. Much more recently in southern Laos, down on the island Don Khon, ...

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Be an Old Man, Have a Young Wife, in Laos

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We got lucky in Don Khon -- the island's annual celebrations were well underway the weekend we were there. Here in southern Laos, evidently "big celebrations" means "get mad drunk and hit the temples," cos that's what everyone did. The Wat laid out a huge spread, with hand-cranked carousels, dart gambling, cover bands, and tons ...

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The Craziest Holy Sculptor in Laos

laos sculptor 1

The long, slow, dusty bus-ride cost 20 cents and took lord knows how long. But eventually it delivered us to the incredible Buddha Park. You see, 40 or so years ago, some loony Lao was hiking along a remote mountain trace, accidentally tripped, and fell into a hole. A deep hole. It was a lot like ...

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Vang Vieng: The Silliest Place in Laos

vang vieng

Imagine the most pristine, untouched, slow-moving river. A place that seems from a dream. It carefully wraps around banks of green, where water buffalo and cows nap in the shade, and wake to sip from small pools. Four novice monks hold umbrellas for shade as they cross a rickety old bridge. ...

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