Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the mystery of zomia

i like to think i know everything, but i can't say i've ever heard the term "zomia" before. but it's even got a link on wikipedia, so i guess it's for real. has anyone else heard this term before? apparently it refers to the mountainous regions of southeast asia that are beyond government control and influence.

anyway, here is a link to a boston globe article about it- and it's review of a book i haven't read yet, but maybe i'll send away for it from amazon. but i love the subtitle of the review: in the lawless mountain realms of asia, a yale professor finds a case against civilization. maybe we all should read it and get educated together, because one more case against civilization may be all i need to put me over... go all chris mccandless out here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

vang vieng part 3

i know i am beating a dead horse here, but just one more on the tragedy that is vang vieng. i especially appreciate the article's quotations from brett dakin, the author of "another quiet american." (a good book if you haven't read it yet. he tells of his experience interning at a government agency in Laos.)

here is the link to the article:

also one of the comments by a reader is interesting as well. in reference to the uxo that litters Laos's countryside, one reader says, "Naked bodies never blew arms and legs off of children. They need to get their priorities correct. The real obscenities lay hidden under the ground!"

Friday, March 05, 2010

vang vieng part 2

i am fascinated by how quickly laos has changed since i first visited in 2001. a third bridge in under construction in khammouan province, viengchanh has a "mall," and vang vieng continues to slouch towards idiocy that way surpasses anything i saw when i was there.

this is a very interesting investigative piece about the issues facing vang vieng. it covers the backpacking culture and how it's effecting the town. very well done. i am not able to embed this video, so please follow the link here.