….. In fact, the former royal capital – a fragile jewel that must be preserved from the mass tourism hordes at all costs – receives more attention from the EU and Asean, not to mention Unesco, than from the bureaucrats in Vientiane.
An aerial view of the Unesco heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos. Photo: iStock
All these worries at least disappear every single morning at the binthabat, or rice-collecting ritual, when rows of Buddhist monks are offered rice in their earthen bowls by rows of women on their knees.
The Silk (jungle) road
In Global South terms, Laos is booming. In mainland Southeast Asia, the Chinese strategy is mostly focused on Laos and Thailand. Beijing expects that the lure of those cross-border SEZs is able to convince skeptical Vietnam and Myanmar of Chinese “flexibility.”
Much more than interest rates on Chinese loans – which in fact…
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