Amazing Books that will inspire you to visit Laos

A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA by Joshua Kurlantzick

Kurlantzick sheds light on a little-known conflict in Laos.  Known as The Secret War, it lasted almost two decades and made that small Southeast Asian country the most heavily bombed nation in history. The book focuses on American engagement in the war.

Available on Amazon

Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life under an Air War by Fred Branfman

During so called Secret War, Fred Branfman was working in Laos as an educational advisor for the American government. This collection of stories told by the Laotian refugees interviewed by Branfman in 1969 became one of the key documents exposing the covert bombing of Laos by the US.

Available on Amazon

The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan

A 2003 memoir from a 300 mile journey down the Mekong River, from it’s source in Himalayas to mouth  in the Mekong Delta through Tibet, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Blending history and personal experiences  Edward Gargan offers a very insightful view into the culture politics and geography of the region.

Available on Amazon

A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between by Grant Evans

A general introduction to Laos history from ancient times, through to Vietnam War and independence from France; as well as the country’s political and cultural background.

Available on Amazon

Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang

In 1970s, during so called  Secret War thousands of Hmong people of Laos had to flee their country being  persecuted for their collaboration with Americans. The Latehomecomer tells a story of a Hmong family, who had to flee their country and seek asylum first in Thailand and then America.

Available on Amazon

A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery Series by Colin Cotterill

A series of mystery novels set in Laos in mid 1970’s. The main character, an eccentric 72-year-old Dr. Siri Paiboun is a physician trained in France and appointed by the government to be the national coroner of Laos. Rather unqualified he begins to solve mysterious murders and disappearances.

Available on Amazon


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