Lao Mythology: The Myth of the Toad King

Bang Fai, otherwise known as the Rocket Festival, is celebrated every year in northeast Thailand and Laos. Ask anyone who knows anything about the Rocket Festival and they’ll probably tell you that Bang Fai are launched every year in April to bring rain.

This centuries old tradition is said to have its origins in an ancient story known as The Myth of the Toad King. However, what’s strange about this myth is that it seems to imply the opposite of what Bang Fai is all about. It says that rain brings the rockets. As presented by Yasothon and Nong Khai: Continue Reading →

Photo Moment: The Golden Stupa of Vientiane

The Golden Stupa (Pha That Luang Temple) in Vientiane is the most magnificent stupa in Laos and also one of the most recognizable. The ashes of kings of different dynasties and accomplished monks are preserved here, and it is believed to hold a relic of the Lord Buddha. It is the national symbol and pride of Laos, and a symbol of both Buddhist religion in Cambodia and sovereignty in Laos. The 45 meters tall golden stupa was built in 1566 Continue Reading →

Laos’ Enigmatic Plain of Jars

Verdant green valleys and mountains were the first thing I noticed on our first morning in Xieng Khuang Province.  The numerous bomb craters dotting the land were a close second. Traveling through this northern province of Laos, it was easy to see how it was utterly devastated by the Vietnam War. Between 1964 and 1973, almost every village and town in the province was decimated, including the original capital city of of Xieng Khuang. The capital was moved to the town of Ponsavon after Continue Reading →