Laos, Chinese arriving in LaosChina may not share a long border with Laos but the untapped resources of this beautiful, rural country present a temptation hard to resist. China has become Laos’ second largest investor and trading partner with mega dam and transport projects as well as numerous cross border casinos which are forbidden fruit in China. But how welcome is this jump into Chinese style modernity for the gentle Laotians? Despite the arrival of new wealth and jobs, many are looking askance at changes to their traditional way of life not seen since French colonial times.

by Harold Thibault, photography Tim Franco

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