Laos may be the least known country in Southeast Asia, but that doesn't mean it's not a fascinating place, despite being bordered by the popular destinations of Vietnam, Thailand and Burma.
Films about or shot in Laos are hard to come by. Here's what I managed to find.
The Rocket, was released in 2013 and tells the tale of a young Laotian who wants to prove to his family that he will not bring them bad luck, something Laotians believe will happen upon the birth of twins. To prove his worth, he decides to take part in a dangerous competition, the Rocket Festival. Shot in Laos, the viewer is immediately plunged into the country's enchanting landscape; you'll want to organise a trip to Laos the moment the credits stop rolling!
Good morning, Luang Prabang
A romantic drama released in 2008. The interesting thing about this film is not the storyline (which is a simple tale) but that it was the first Laotian film in more than 30 years to be privately financed. The film tells the story of Sorn, who is ordered by his editor to go to Laos. He hires a female guide, falls in love and it all ends happily ever after.
This journalist, who specialises in Laos, wrote a book in 2007 called Laos, The Forgotten War. He put his life at risk by investigating the ethnic cleansing of the Hmong people who lived in the Laotian jungle. The book has been translated in English and a documentary is also available. The book provides a fascinating insight into this Laotian community, who in the past helped the French and the Americans during both the Indochina and Vietnam Wars. As a result they were considered to be traitors by their own country.
An Anglo-Australian writer. Cotterill has written a series of books based on the Republic of Laos, a country he knows well, having been posted there by a NGO.
The books follow Doctor Siri Paiboun, a coroner/medical examiner, working in Laos during the 1970s. The first book, The Coroner's Lunch, was published in 2008. It's a wonderful blend of interesting facts, intense experiences and a good dose of humour. Some incentives to make you want to visit Laos.