Tag Archives: cambodia

Angkor What? Explore Ancient Architecture on Smaller Scale At Savannakhet’s Stone House

Ancient Heritage That's Older Than Angkor: Savannakhet's Stone House Heuan Hin

Laotian Times‘ own Laotian Eye Takes A Look To Laos’ Pre-Angkorean Treasures Of The Ancient Khmer Empire At The Stone House Huean Hin On a Trip to Savannakhet Province.

Laotian Eye: Faster Times At Pi Mai As Culture, Continuity, Change Collide at Lao New Year

Laotian Eye: Faster Times At Pi Mai As Culture, Continuity, Change Collide

Thailand knows the time of year as Songkran. Cambodia has Chol Chnam Thmey. Myanmar marks the occasion with Thingyan. In Laos, Boun Pi Mai.

Also Known as Lao New Year, the biggest festival on the Lao calendar brings three days of celebration and rejoicing across the country and beyond, taking place every year from April 14th to 16th.

Celebrating Pi Mai (Lao New Year)

While it’s said each month has a different celebration for the people of Laos, Boun Pi Mai is certainly a very special one to Laotians at home and abroad.

Please Don’t Rush, It’s Wet!

Times change and social mores are on the move, influencing lifestyles of contemporary Laos.


Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

The celebration of Lao New Year is no different. Yet one constant throughout is water.

Whether its ceremonially offering respect to elders or playing and throwing or sprinkling it on friends, a primary activity is always to get others wet.

Many folks set up a small paddling pool in front of their house.

Others go around in a pickup with a water bucket and throw water for fun, despite it being officially frowned upon.

The roadsides of Vientiane and other cities brighten up, with shopkeepers offering bold New Year fashions to the passing public.

People dress up for the celebration, particularly in Luang Prabang where traditions hold tightest.

ເທວະດາຫລວງ ໄປບູຊາ ຄາຣະວະ ແລະຟ້ອນອວຍພອນປີໃຫມ່ລາວ ຢູ່ວັດຊຽງທອງ ໃນວັນທີ 15/04/2019

Posted by ນະຄອນຫລວງພຣະບາງ Luangprabang City on ວັນຈັນ ທີ 15 ເມສາ 2019

There is a conflict between the decorum required at places of worship and on the street beyond.

Many don’t know the history of when it’s started and why.

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

As a young and curious boy, I heard from my grandfather that it’s a Buddhist festival.

As devotees, we believe (as followers of many other religions also do) that New Year can take bad things away and bring good fortune.

Of course, the festival known as Boun Pi Mai is not only celebrated in Laos.

Celebrations in neighboring countries all derive from the same Buddhist calendar.

These might have been scheduled to coincide with time between harvest and planting seasons to provide a window of rare leisure in the year’s hectic schedule.

These days I can not remember my childhood New Year celebrations in great detail, yet I am sure we didn’t have so many activities available as recently.

Forgotten memories return when I see the children playing with water in a village in Ngoi district near the town of Luang Prabang province.

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

The village was quite rustic, but the children were having heaps of fun just as I did with my friends some 25 years ago.

They fetched water from a stream in the woods.

In my time we had to pump it out of the ground by hand.

Before throwing it over each other of course!

Growing up, our home was by the main roadside of Nontae village inXaythany district, about 25km from Vientiane.

We had a water pump in the village which was close to my house.

All of our friends would be there playing with water together.

We were delighted anytime whenever some people were passing by, so we hurried up to pump the water out and throw at them. We would never tire of it.

I also remember that at the time, many of our fellow countryfolks of the Hmong and Khmu ethnicity didn’t celebrate Boun Pi Mai so much as they might today.

@Lao Youth Radio FM 90.0 Mhz Lao Youth Union

Posted by Laos Briefly on ວັນພະຫັດ ທີ 26 ເມສາ 2018

Due to the difference in cultures, they were sometimes furious when we threw water at them, but we were not concerned enough to stop.

Whatever they said we still gave a blessing to them all the times while showering them repeatedly.

Back to the Village & Family Homes

My family is big and extended one like a tree.

As my grandparents stayed in my house, most of our family would have an appointment at the new year to visit and have a Somma ceremony.

Somma sees children seek forgiveness from parents and older adults by giving Khan-ha (a set of offerings comprising five pairs of flowers and candles) and also conduct a Baci ceremony as well.

I don’t know when I first experienced the Somma ceremony, but we did it with older family members every year for as long as I can remember.

In the past, we had a long three-day celebration but spent more of that time with family and cousins in our village.

Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a car to take us to go away anywhere.

We would do all the traditional and cultural ceremonies such as Somma, Baci, bathing Buddha statues in our local area.

Of course, the festival was primarily a family and community celebration. It was a timeless joy to experience these together.

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Today, Lao New Year remains the biggest festival celebration and taking place everywhere nationwide.

Of course, anyone of any ethnic group or nationality can have fun together in Laos these days at Boun Pimai.

However, some things are changing. More and more cultural traditions are being left by the wayside.

Celebrating Pi Mai AKA Lao New Year in Laos

Young people have more time for loud music than culture, especially along the roadsides, house and drinking venues.

Of course, it’s enjoyable to mess around with water and have fun, but we should be aware of the meaning behind it.

Laotian youth at home and abroad should also know what Lao New Year means and continue the traditional forms of celebration for the benefit of current and future generations.

Laos, Cambodia PMs Agree To Continue Joint Patrols in Disputed Area

Border Discussion as Cambodia PM Hun Sen Visits Laos

The governments of Laos and Cambodia have agreed in Vientiane to continue efforts to de-escalate tensions in a disputed border area.

The agreement was made during Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Vientiane yesterday at the invitation of Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Thongloun said Laos highly valued the visit of Hun Sen and his delegation as a significant contribution to enhancing relationship and cooperation between the two countries in all areas.

The two prime ministers also presided over the signing ceremony of documents on education, cultural and art cooperation, among others.

During their meeting, both sides agreed to an ongoing prohibition on various activities in the disputed border areas with a view to future resolution.

At a press conference shortly after the bilateral talks, Thongloun said both sides reaffirmed their intention to enhance the long-standing friendly relations, cooperation and solidarity between the two countries in the spirit of mutual respect and interests.

The Lao and Cambodian leaders reiterated that Kengtomokhoy-Huaytangao area is an unresolved area where no military forces are expected to be present, no people are expected to live or do business.

The area must be patrolled together by both sides using land, water and arial (drone) means.

The latest visit follows ongoing discussions that have been held to reduce tensions in the long-running dispute that flared up in August 2017 after which Mr Hu. The pair have also met regularly at ASEAN meets including in this year’s host, Singapore.

Official demarcation of the boundary between the two nations has not yet been fully completed since their liberation from colonial rule, and tiffs over border locations have been common in the past, the Laotian Times reported in 2017.

Photo: Lao Post

Connectivity, People, Environment: PM Thongloun Joins Mekong-Japan Summit in Tokyo

PM Thongloun (left) & PM Abe

Mekong-Japan cooperation, connectivity, people links and the environment are major themes as Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith meets counterparts from neighbouring countries and Japan in Tokyo Tuesday.

Joining Dr Thongloun in being hosted by Japanese counterpart PM Shinzo Abe at today’s tenth Mekong-Japan summit in the capital of Japan are Cambodia’s Mr Hun Sen, State Counsellor of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar H.E. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Kingdom of Thailand’s Mr. Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnam’s Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

It comes as Dr Thongloun and Japan counterpart Mr Abe held a press conference Monday evening, agreeing for Japan to lend further ongoing support to unexploded-ordnance related projects in Laos at the cost of 900 million yen.

The two agreed to facilitate cooperation between Mittaphab hospital in Vientiane and Kitahara Neurosurgical Institute of Japan, according to the pool reports to Laos’ media by pool reporter from Lao News Agency KPL.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting has been held every year since 2009 to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the Mekong countries, and for the sustainable development of and narrowing the development gap within the Mekong region.”

“This Summit is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Japan and the Mekong region.”

After their meeting, the leaders are scheduled to interact with the business community at an investment summit.

They are also expected to meet with youth football players attending “Japan-Mekong Youth Exchange Program (football)” organized as a part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS2018) via Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).

The annual summits are held in the participating countries on a rotating roster, with Japan hosting on a triennial basis. The Laotian Times reported Laos’ hosting of the 8th Mekong-Japan summit in 2016 alongside the 28th & 29th ASEAN Summits.


Lao Dam Collapse Floodwaters Hit Stung Treng, Cambodia

stung treng cambodia affected by lao damcollapse

Floodwaters from the dam collapse in southern Laos have hit Stung Treng province in Cambodia, causing the evacuation of over 5,000 people.

The Cambodian Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology stated that floodwaters from the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam in Laos have directly affected parts of Stung Treng, which had already been inundated after heavy rains.

Authorities in Stung Treng initially planned to evacuate only 557 families, however the number rose to 1,289 families in communities along the Sekong River after water levels rose to dangerous levels following the dam collapse in Laos.

The water level in the river is now at 11.5 meters.

Soldiers were released from border areas to assist with transporting evacuees.

The Mekong River Commission, which is closely monitoring the situation, stated yesterday that the Lao dam collapse was a great tragedy and has offered its support.

“We express condolences for this national tragedy in Lao PDR. We stand ready to visit the site as well as to provide appropriate support in this time of need,” said MRC Chief Executive Officer Pham Tuan Phan.

Source: Khmer Times, MRC

Cambodian Troops Begin Live-fire Drills at Laos Border

Cambodian Troops Train Laos Border

Cambodian troops stationed on the border with Laos commenced live-fire drills yesterday, just six months after a flare-up caused severe border tensions between the two countries.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen created Infantry Brigade 128 last August after a confrontation with the Lao military. The brigade is now using live mortars as part of special training alleged to improve skills and defend territorial integrity.

According to reports in the Phnom Penh Post, the Lao side was informed of the drills prior to commencement.

Troops from Laos were accused of crossing the border into Cambodian territory amid a dispute over road construction. This sparked the public announcement of an ultimatum, requesting Laos withdraw its troops within six days or suffer the consequences.

The border dispute was peacefully resolved, however, when Prime Minister Hun Sen flew to Laos to engage in talks upon invitation by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Many experts claim that the entire episode has been nothing more than political games, with the Cambodian Prime Minister attempting to fan the flames of nationalism amid the looming Cambodian general elections, due in July this year.


Source: Phnom Penh Post

Laos and Cambodia to Increase Defense Cooperation

Laos Cambodia Defence Ministers Meeting

Laos and Cambodia have pledged to boost security and stability between the two countries, and prevent military confrontations along their shared border.

Cambodian Defense Minister General Tea Banh made an official visit to Laos this week, and was received by Lao Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Chansamone Chanyalath.

During talks, the two ministers vowed to bring unity and cooperation between the two countries and their respective armed forces. A special mention was made of the border area in Stung Treng Province in Cambodia, and Attapeu Province in Laos, where Cambodian troops were mobilized last year after a misunderstanding led to military tensions.

A disagreement over roads being built in border areas ignited the military flare-up, which culminated in peace talks between the prime ministers of Laos and Cambodia on August 12 last year.

Now, the two countries’ militaries  are looking forward to closer ties and peaceful resolution of any further disputes.

Official demarcation between the two nations has not yet been fully completed, and tiffs over border locations have been common in the past. 

Source: Kongthap Pasason Lao
Photo: Khmer Times

Cambodian PM Issues Warning to Laos over Border Violation; Troops at the Ready


Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has accused Laos of military encroachment onto Cambodian soil. He said soldiers from Laos have entered Cambodia and must leave by August 17, or suffer the consequences.

 Mr Hun Sen has now mobilized troops to the border area.

 As many as thirty Lao troops crossed from Laos into Cambodia near Stung Treng Province in April, according to news reports, and have remained in the area for long periods of time.

 “I am unable to keep patience,” said PM Hun Sen. “It’s not right that we fight each other but if they don’t withdraw, then we must. We are not declaring war, we just ask to get our own land back.”

 “I appeal to Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to withdraw troops from Cambodian territory,” the Cambodian Prime Minister added.

Experts say that such squabbles are common along the 540km land border between Laos and Cambodia, and many areas have not been officially demarcated.

State media in Laos has remained silent in regard to the issue.