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Southeast Asia Travel News

The Southeast Asia Travel Specialists Since 1999

A brief country-by-country rundown of Southeast Asia’s various UNESCO Sites beginning, for no particular reason, with the list of Laos World Heritage sites. Well, it is an easy one to start with since the small, land-locked and sparsely populated nation has the grand total of 2 sites. Having said that a scan through the UNESCO list, (which does seem somewhat…

Well, mostly a Laos recommended reading list since we can’t find many movies set in Laos, half-decent or otherwise, and haven’t come across too many good documentaries either. There are numerous books on Lao history, the majority of which fall into either the 19th-century French explorers’ accounts or the Vietnam/Indochina war period categories. Studies of early history in Southeast Asia…

Now you will usually see adjectives such as mysterious or enigmatic preceding the name the Plain of Jars, Laos, with the reason being – since a stone jar in itself is not so mysterious –  that archaeologists can’t agree on their date or even their actual purpose so….enigmatic! The stone jars – up to 2m tall and carved out of…

Apologies; minus 10 for repetition! Wat Rong Khun (more commonly known simply as The White Temple) in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province rears its unusual head again. Now every time we visit we hesitate over leaving the camera in the minibus (as we’ve been there so many times) but every time we take it anyway and end up finding some other…

The term Tai describes the broad ethnic group (the Tai-Kadai linguistic family) which includes the Thai (Siamese), Lao, Shan, Northern Thai, Thai Lu, Red Tai, White Tai etc who occupy a wide band of Asia from the Assam region of India, through southern China, Burma’s Shan States, Laos, Northern Vietnam and of course Thailand itself. We touched on the migration…

Continuing westwards from the Flower Hmong of Ha Giang and Black Hmong of Lao Cai we reach Lai Chau Province and its colourful Red Hmong sub-group. Their villages are quite widely spread across the northern and central parts of the province, being replaced to the south and west by Tai and Lao sub groups.  Occasional White Hmong villages can be…

The Black Hmong sub group of Northern Vietnam are particularly well known due to Sapa’s place on the well-trodden tourist trail. Although the town itself is actually inhabited by Vietnamese traders and cafe and hotel staff Sapa is totally swamped on most days by Hmong from the surrounding villages. You’ll also come across the distinctively dressed Red Dzao, the more…

Below, a photo fo a  Flower Hmong girl taken at Bac Ha’s Sunday Market. Don’t intend to be patronising – these guys have as much right to a cellphone as anyone – but it does look incongruous next to their centuries-old traditional costumes! The ‘Flower Hmong’ or ‘Variegated Hmong’ is one of the numerous sub groups of the Hmong ethnic…