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Philip Game | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Laos & Cambodia (10 galleries) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Laos & Cambodia (10 galleries)

Images from several visits over the years to two of my favourite Asian destinations, most recently to cruise down the lower Mekong as far as the rapids on the Cambodian border (read more on my blog), then on through the Kingdom to Phnom Penh. Cambodia too has won my affection, in spite of depressingly widespread evidence of injustice, high-level corruption and environmental degradation (read more).

In spite of everything, these two countries still exemplify the old Asia, where children play happily in the streets, unattended, and the price of anything is whatever you're prepared to pay; even if saffron-robed Buddhist monks do carry mobiles and make plans to study in Texas.

The former kingdom of Lan Xang is still a land where the discerning traveller can savour the languid ambience of a princess’ villa by the Mekong, haggle for shimmering silks or stock up on beetles and buffalo blood.... ‘A place that time had forgotten’ wrote one bemused war correspondent in 1960. ‘An apparent comic-opera world of royal courts, sacred elephants, ancient temples and orange-robed monks,’ ventured another.

Modern-day Laos is a creation of French empire-builders who stitched together a patchwork of 68 ethnic groups. This land-locked, mountainous territory the size of Great Britain is home to a scant four million people. Only recently is a modest measure of prosperity being achieved, with neither the rapid industrialisation of Vietnam nor the turbulent past of Cambodia.

Mekong journey, southern Laos
:: Mekong journey, southern Laos ::
Boun Khao Salak festival, Savannakhet
:: Boun Khao Salak festival, Savannakhet ::
Savannakhet, Laos
:: Savannakhet, Laos ::
Dong Natad eco trek, Savannakhet
:: Dong Natad eco trek, Savannakhet ::
Vientiane, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars
:: Vientiane, Luang Prabang and the Plain of Jars ::
Mekong journey: Kratie, Cambodia
:: Mekong journey: Kratie, Cambodia ::
Mekong journey: Koh Trong
:: Mekong journey: Koh Trong ::
Cambodia (2000)
:: Cambodia (2000) ::
Cambodia's North East
:: Cambodia's North East ::
Phnom Penh
:: Phnom Penh ::