Author: Jason Rolan

In spirit of the season: Haunting sights in Laos, Thailand

VIENTIANE, Laos – From the light-hearted to the macabre, ghosts and spirits have recently been visiting the area. Below are two must-see spots where the living may meet the dead. Ben Hansaa – The Funhouse View this post on Instagram My annual delight at the Boat Racing Festival is the Haunted House. I never go inside, but love the calm, eerie music that plays out of it, as well as watching the Lao people dare each other to go in and then come running out. #laos #vientiane #hauntedhouse A post shared by Jason Rolan (@jasonrolan) on Oct 22, 2018 at 8:02am PDT After the revolution, believing in spirits was officially discouraged, but belief in them still remains strong. This year, the end of Buddhist Lent fell at nearly the same time as Halloween. In the carnival erected annually at Vientiane’s Boat Racing festival, there is a haunted house where youths dare each other to face the horrors inside. In Thailand, or America, this would be called a Ban Phi Sing or “Haunted House,” but bowing …

Travel Gems: Phonhong, Vientiane

Greetings, travelers! Around 70km north of Vientiane lies the capital of Vientiane Province, Phonhong. It’s usually not even a blip on the tourist radar. It looks much like any other highway junction town; a few petrol stations, a market, and a handful of noodle stalls. But slow down, dig a little deeper, and you will find some fascinating things. To the west and south of the city lies the expansive Phou Phanang National Protected Area. Due to high levels of encroachment and fruit and rubber plantations, it’s now just a National Protected Area in name only. It is marked with large expanses of sandstone escarpment, hiding a couple of treasures for our visit today. Laos’ Grand Canyon View this post on Instagram Self-portrait at the Lao Grand Canyon #laos #grandcanyon #selfie #phonhong A post shared by Jason Rolan (@jasonrolan) on Feb 27, 2018 at 1:46am PST View this post on Instagram Buddha’s Grotto #laos #shotsofwats #phonhong #mekongmoments A post shared by Jason Rolan (@jasonrolan) on Feb 28, 2018 at 4:14am PST View this post on …