tiabunna's photos

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12 Sep 2011

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11 comments

38 visits

Watching the tourists

This Lao gentleman was enjoying watching the 'farang' (broadly translates as 'Westerners') with their cameras. He seemed happy to have his portrait taken on the doorstep of his traditional house.

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12 Sep 2011

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14 comments

33 visits

Craters Restaurant

In the township of Phonsavan, not far from the room where I took my previous image, "Craters Restaurant" is known for its array of unexploded American bombs at the entry. Phonsavan township (now the capital of Xieng Khouang province in Laos) has been built since the 1970s, as both it and the former provincial capital after which the province was named were totally destroyed by US bombing. I had thought of posting this image for HFF, but it's not a happy context. Xieng Khouang province was one of the most heavily bombed parts of Laos, on which the US dropped over 2 million tonnes of bombs (more, in total, than was dropped by all combatants in WW2) during the "Secret War" between 1969 and 1975 - the equivalent of a plane load of bombs every eight minutes throughout that period. The result can be seen in aerial views such as this one from Wolfgang (ipernity) . Sadly, much of the bombing consisted of anti-personnel cluster bombs "bombies" which were released from containers such as the large shell at right. It is estimated that some 80 million of these dreadful devices remain unexploded and strewn around the countryside, killing and maiming many people yearly. The "Secret War" (more details here) did not become public knowledge until after the American withdrawal from Vietnam. As for the role of the CIA, which were major players, the reality was close to the film "Apocalypse Now", as they fomented uprisings by the Hmong hill tribes while running their own secret air force within neutral Laos, itself involved in a civil war. If you can stand it, here are a few more links for those interested in more background: plainofjars.net/war.htm blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseih/2020/02/11/bombies-legacies-of-the-secret-war-in-laos www.peacequest.ca/laos-is-beautiful-too-bad-about-the-80-million-unexploded-bombies

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12 Sep 2011

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65 comments

147 visits

Phonsavan landscape

The view from the balcony of my room in Phonsavan, Laos. HFF, stay safe, and best wishes for the weekend, everyone.

12 Sep 2011

33 favorites

24 comments

81 visits

Embroiderer

In the village where I took the previous photos of the houses and post office, there was a group of women doing embroidery. This lady in the group gave me a beautiful smile.

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12 Sep 2011

28 favorites

22 comments

77 visits

Everyone needs satellite

Huts in the Laos village of Kiokacham (spelling is variable). A traditional hut in the foreground, behind is a more recent build, from the Russian period following the SE Asian war, identifiable by its concrete block construction. Also evident is the satellite dish, as far as I could gather also from the Russian period and used for communications.

12 Sep 2011

16 favorites

6 comments

39 visits

Bureau de Poste

It was interesting to see the multi-lingual signage, such as this Post Office at a little village. I was very struck by the amount of advertising being given to mobile phones (3G when this was taken). I should add that the coverage (with my phone) was surprisingly good everywhere we went, despite the mountainous terrain.

05 Jul 2020

36 favorites

56 comments

91 visits

Elastic space

Macro Mondays - 160: 6 July 2020. Subject "Rubber". Best viewed on black.

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01 Jul 2020

24 favorites

19 comments

72 visits

The barge and the crane

It is almost a year since I took the photo of the first of the two construction barges arriving to begin work on the new bridge (see PiP). They are each about 3300 tonnes, as they need to be to carry the giant cranes lifting these very substantial concrete sections into place for the new bridge. View large.

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01 Jul 2020

44 favorites

37 comments

131 visits

Bridge building

It's been a while since I posted any photos of the work on our new bridge and it's a hive of activity. Best viewed large and other images in the PiPs. HFF and best wishes for the weekend, everyone.
1672 photos in total