A taste of Laos

It was in 2010 that I first discovered Laos. A country that has nothing to do with its neighbouring countries. Time has stopped, the adage often says: “welcome to Laos, now you are in Lao time”.

In 2012, not finding any real sense in what I was doing, I left my comfortable work in France and decided to return, without knowing that I was about to live an unforgettable experience. I no longer wished to travel as a tourist, I wanted to live there and get to know the multiple aspects of the country. This is how I found myself volunteering for a month in the beautiful city of Luang Prabang. In the end, this month turned into 6 months. I was able to work and live with the locals. An experience that showed me that simplicity is a source of happiness.

Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world and during these 6 months, with small financial resources, I learned to live modestly. I made incredible encounters and Laotians taught me a beautiful lesson: how to live in the present moment.
Our model of society constantly oppresses us, always in a rush, we have barely finished one task, we are already thinking about the next. Our thoughts are often in the past or in the future, but what about the present? The Lao knows how to enjoy every second and contemplate it.

In 2017, I had the opportunity to go back and meet my friends that I had not seen for 3 years. In such a short time, the beautiful city of Luang Prabang had changed. The Chinese have invested the premises, offering the locals their first supermarket, shopping mall … The economic development has an interest for the Chinese investor but what about the benefits for the locals? What is certain and according to those I interviewed, the Chinese are rarely appreciated in the city. Although it’s true that these changes allow the locals to access new services and needs. If the spiral of development goes in the positive way, it will be beneficial to the Laotian people. But will the Lao people stay on their guard and be reasonable?

During my short stay, I wanted to document the simplicity of the everyday life of this village classified a UNESCO heritage site. Maybe one day these images will be filed in the archives to show how Luang Prabang was before modernity hit her.

This documentary begins at my friend Nick’s place where we cooked traditional food, for the rest, I leave to discover…. I hope these photos will make you want to discover this beautiful country. Do not hesitate to contact me if you want advice on a route.