Traditional Hmong Village in Laos

Submitted by zach on Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:51

After starting a 40km trek of biking and hiking from Luang Prabang in 35C weather, we finally arrived at our destination of Ban Phou Luang Tai, where we would spend the night.

Situated on top of a mountain, this Hmong village seems to not have changed very much over the last few decades. The village does not have running water (I've been told there is a river 10-15 minutes away) nor does it have electricity (solar panels have been installed in only one of the buildings).

We took a guided hike and our guide mentioned that the village relies on selling livestock in the nearby towns. The Hmong do not keep their livestock in pens, and so dogs, pigs, goats, and chickens freely wander throughout the village. It took me a while to understand why there were no male animals wandering around - likely they were the first to be slaughtered or sold off once they no longer were needed for breeding.

Because of the lack of roads, most people in the villages will walk to the towns selling meat and produce. It's hard for to imagine carrying produce and meat to the village, which could be at least 10-20km away, and then walking the same distance uphill back home.

Living in Hong Kong, one of the things that I don't see much are the stars and during my stay in the village, I was reminded in what a real night sky looked like. The stars peppered the sky. Being far away from any roads, the silence of the night initially made my ears ring.