All posts tagged: Jason Rolan

Landmarks of Laos: Hidden sites of yesteryear pt. 1

Although Vientiane aspires to be the shining capital of the Lao polity, in the race to develop and give the main thoroughfares a shiny façade, there are plenty of hidden places that stand as silent reminders of days gone past, as they await their turn to shine again. During the Lao Civil War (1959-1975), missionaries came into Laos to offer assistance to the war ravaged population. Churches were built, such as this one in 1973 in Thongkhankham Village, which is a prominently Sino-Vietnamese commercial district. It was only used as a church for two years until the revolution and being “gifted” to the new government as the missionaries fled. Now it stands as the Office of Justice for Chanthabouly District. Only a few steps away stands a building abandoned a bit later. This was the small Trường Tiểu Học Nguyễn Du II School, teaching the children of prominent Sino-Vietnamese traders in both Lao and Vietnamese. Sometime in the early part of this century, when better private education options became available, this school was gradually abandoned …

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 …