Shenzhen Spirit

A jungle tamed, a future ignited.

Laos through the looking-glass: Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang, Laos, view of Nam Khan River

What did I expect, when I visited the former Kingdom of a Million Elephants, the hidden jewel of old Indochina? An alternate Vietnam, where elephant did indeed roam the streets? A “lesser” version of Thailand, without the trademark smiles and tourist services to match?

Revolting peasants; reflecting on Jose Saramago’s “Raised from the Ground”.

This is Portugal's "One Hundred Years of Solitude" without the magical realism. This is a Forsyte Saga for the landless peasants. In a place where the landscape is the only constant, these people, like Saramago's own grandparents, were literally Raised from the Ground.