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Former Indochina Foes Become New Best Friends

Oct 24, 2016 | 0 comments

As you can judge from a number of our blogs, things were not always friendly between the United States and the countries of Vietnam and Laos. However, after many years of war, misunderstanding and acrimony, the U.S. has finally joined hands with Vietnam and Laos. It is amazing what impact an expansionist China can have on its neighbors and the U.S. as the Chinese build man-made islands with aircraft fighter hangers on them in the South China sea without any plausible justification of a sovereign claim whatsoever. Arrogance and ignorance often create an explosive cocktail as it has in Southeast...

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Luang Prabang, A Home to Buddhist Spirituality

Sep 09, 2016 | 0 comments

When we were recently in Luang Prabang, Laos, we introduced our grandson, Story, to a bit of Buddhist spirituality in an effort to provide him a proper balance to the demands of Pokemon at which he has become an established expert. We began the first morning making merit by offering food to the monks followed by visits to a number of interesting and historically significant temples. Luang Prabang sits in a northern Laos mountain range and, in that setting, the Buddhist temples seem even more spiritual than those of far-away Bangkok. Many of the mountain villagers send their children to...

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Laos and Elephants

Aug 22, 2016 | 0 comments

We were recently in Luang Prabang, Laos where the author spent quite a bit of time during the late sixties.  Luang Prabang has been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site which is a designation that has served the ancient capital of Laos very well.  Until the 1900's, Laos was known as the Kingdom of Lan Xang, the land of one million elephants.  In Lao the word for elephant is written phonetically in English as "Xang" which is comparable to the Thai convention in phonetic English of "Chang" as we spell it in The Elephant Story, i.e., Rueang (Story) Chang...

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