A playground for businessmen is thriving on land leased from the Laos government. Edward Loxton reports from Kapok City
Environmentalists opposed to a controversial dam that could have a devastating impact on one of Asia's most important rivers have accused the authorities in Laos of starting work on the project without formal approval.
Tae bumped down on the bed frame and it cracked. Startled, he leapt up and uttered a deferential apology to the room. This was no ordinary bed but one belonging to a senior cadre of the Pathet Lao, the Laos communist leadership that had operated from a series of 480 caves deep in the north-east of the country to escape US bombardment between 1964 and 1973.
Vang Pao was a fabled Hmong war veteran who led by example and exuded bravery, fighting a covert CIA-sponsored war against Laos Communist insurgents and Viet Minh in Laos during the Vietnam War. The General, once described as the "biggest hero of the Vietnam War" by the former CIA Director William Colby, went on to become the revered leader of the Hmong exiles in the United States.
Simon Wolfson, Next's chief executive, has warned that a "speculative bubble" in the cotton market will lead to near-double-digit price rises on clothing next year, as the fashion retailer's underlying sales slipped behind City expectations in its third quarter. Next has previously warned that a surge in cotton prices would cause a 5 to 8 per cent rise in clothing prices in the first quarter, but Lord Wolfson said yesterday that the uplift would be at the top end of the range.
Laos's capital is steeped in a coffee culture introduced by the French
Sister hotel to the French colonial FCC Phnom Penh, the Quay Hotel is a 16-room hideaway beside the river. It's minimal and contemporary: think Arne Jacobsen Swan chairs, plasma screen TVs and ergonomic design. The hotel also provides local communities with coal-free cookers and was built using natural and recycled materials: environmentally aware and slick and stylish to boot.
The first confirmed sighting in more than a decade of one of the rarest animals in the world, described as the "Asian unicorn", was revealed today.
Thai troops packed more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong into military trucks yesterday for a one-way journey to Laos, all but ending the Hmong's three-decade search for asylum following their alliance with the US during the Vietnam War.
South-east Asia specialises in cheap yet chic lodgings. Andrew Spooner picks his favourites
Prime Minister tells boy with refugee parents that he can travel to Japan
Woman convicted of drug trafficking allowed to return because she is pregnant
Pregnant Briton Samantha Orobator was found guilty of heroin smuggling and sentenced to life in prison by a court in Laos today.
Lao authorities are investigating how a 20-year-old British woman accused of heroin smuggling became pregnant in prison, a challenge because the woman has refused to reveal the identity of the father, a government-run newspaper said today.
A pregnant British woman who faces possible death by firing squad for allegedly smuggling heroin will get a fair trial, officials in Laos insisted today.
Friends believe woman may have been raped in notorious Laos prison