Year published :2012

Pages :120 pp.

Size :25.5x25.5 cm.

Color photograph :160

ISBN: 9786162150180

Recollections of a Hidden Laos: A Photographic Journey

by Linda Reinink‐Smith

160 color illustrations, paperback 

From the air, one sees mostly jagged, forest‐covered mountains etched with unexpected waterfalls, glistening like milky quartz in all the green. Closer inspection reveals ethereal villages of grass‐thatched huts from a past era clinging to high ridges and surrounded by misty grand vistas reaching into the distance... Downriver, the pastoral gives way to bleak reality: remnants of forests deliberately burned to the roots, the soil carried away by streams to the ocean far away.

So begins this lovely volume of exquisite photographs from Laos, a country whose remote regions are still hidden away and undiscovered to all but a few inquisitive scholars and venturesome travelers. The capital city of Vientiane and far‐flung regions of the country are richly illustrated with more than 150 full‐color images. The photographs recount the author’s personal journey to towns and villages in the 1990s, portraying the ethnic minorities and lowlanders, their traditional way of life and work, and the natural environment and terrain. The author observes small signs of modernization with each subsequent visit—traditional dress replaced by Western clothing, forests destroyed by a new road. The book provides a rare and nuanced glimpse into the country and people of Laos as they stand at the crossroads of change.


  • Includes over 150 full‐color photographs with detailed captions
  • Photographs taken throughout the regions of Laos explore the traditional culture of the individual ethnic minorities and regions of this diverse country
  • Images and captions give a rare look at the day‐to‐day lives of the Lao people on the cusp of modernization
  • Includes a map of Laos and an introduction outlining the history of Laos, the author’s experience within the country, and Laos’ path to modernization

About the photographer

Linda Reinink‐Smith worked as a geologist in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic for nearly four years (1992–95) and has traveled extensively in the country. She is from Sweden.


Laos | photography | anthropology | culture | ethnic minorities