Rocket Festival

Rocket Festival The annual Rocket Festival was clearly the most spectacular of the many festivals in Laos. Loaded with drama and suspense it used to engage the attention of thousands of spectators along the river...

Narrow Escape…

There were two principal airlines in Laos during the early 70s – Lao Airlines and Royal Air Lao.  Both flew old piston-engined planes, especially the rugged DC-3 and a DC-4 – until Lao Airlines bought a Vickers Viscount – a turbo-prop. One week in...

Finding Diamonds

It is not every day that one finds diamonds. But it is not every day that we lose them either! But when one does find a diamond it brings unsurpassable pleasure… That has just been our experience this week! The latest chapter in our ‘diamond saga’...

Flying the Comet 4

Much joy is often derived from the totally unexpected. Such was my experience when I learned that I would be flying in a Comet 4 jet plane when I flew back to Laos via Thailand in 1971. The previous day had been quite hectic. I was getting anxious because I had not...

Opium Encounter

I find a degree of sympathy for Bill Clinton as he struggled during his 1992 presidential campaign to suppress rumours of having smoked pot. Except for me the challenge was not inhaling pot — but opium…. It happened like this… Upon my return to Laos...

Making Life Difficult

As we grow up we develop our own philosophies of life – mechanisms for coping with the various challenges we will face in the path ahead. Making life difficult for myself was one of those philosophies. I am not sure what prompted it – but it soon became a...