All posts tagged: Southeast Asia

From Madison to Luang Prabang with Volun-Tour’s Ounprason Inthachith

It’s a dizzying drive up the mountains of northern Laos, but almost eight hours later, I arrive to Laos’ sweetheart town of Luang Prabang to see a familiar face. Sitting on the patio of his family’s Villa Patthana, Ounprason Inthachith was decked out in a Green Bay Packers hat for a warm greeting. We visit one of his project sites, chat about his service-learning tourism organization, Volun-Tour Laos, and how living as a Lao American in Laos has been to his Midwest soul. You were born in Luang Prabang, then went to Madison, and now back to Luang Prabang. How has it been?  I was born in Luang Prabang and went to Madison Wisconsin with my mom, two sisters and brother. Mom wanted the American dream for her family, but at that time, she just wanted safety and security. I lived in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for a number of years before Madison, Wisconsin. 2006 was a mid-life inquiry about finding myself and where my roots are. Lost and misguided, and uncertain in my path, by my second …

10 Things President Obama Should Do in Laos

Well, this is a first for a United States president. Earlier this week, President Obama announced that he’ll visit Laos by end of 2016. Just in time for the ASEAN economic summit that Laos is hosting as current chair and member.  After White House National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes visited Laos to learn about the UXO issue and after the memorable visit by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton– it was only time before POTUS himself would make an appearance. As the pivot towards economically-booming Southeast Asia continues and on the heels of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, this will no doubt seal President Obama’s legacy before his term ends. We could be biased but while we know that Laos is quite arguably the coolest place to be in Southeast Asia, a lot can change in the course of one year before the POTUS visits. We know he’s a busy man, so we conjured up some to-do’s for his staffers to use. Here’s a fun list of “10 Things President Obama Should Do in Laos”. Take a stroll along …