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.


Ann said...

That was a good piece. I really don't understand this mentality. It was funny that one of the "backpackers" interviewed said they went there to experience the culture.

jrm said...

right ann. it's kind of a weird thing to see...

and lauren, my experience is that its a lot of european/australian kids who take a year off of life and head to asia for cheap fun, and call it educational.

my guess is that their youthfulness leads them to genuinely wish for a unique and special journey through the cultural way stations of se asia - but alas it devolves into what 20 year-olds really crave: cheap booze, good weed (and maybe a little guiltless sex along the way.) i mean, they're usually out there for a long time... 6-9 months, sometimes a year. and as one of these kids said to me on my 2nd trip to Laos, "there's only so many waterfalls you can look at before it just becomes another waterfall."