Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Future of Laos Lies Here.

Laos is one of the poorest countries in the world so it was no surprise to see these kids begging for handouts and money from tourists. Most people find them cute, and so give in to them but I think it's a bad idea as it fosters a culture of begging. A much better way is to  donate to their schools or temples.

To evoke pity in tourists, some kids bring along babies. It's a bad idea to foster this begging mentality in kids so young.

Education represents the best way for Laos to progress and prosper.
Wherever I travel I make it a point to visit a local school, and sometimes I feel like a trespasser.Since I cycle around, it's easy to spot a school, and just ride into it. Usually they are surprised to see a stranger loitering around. And they are too well-mannered to shoo me away or ask "What the hell are you doing here? Can't you see that this is a school?" Not once.


  1. The innocence of childhood. A plea to mankind to help.

    What else can these children do when the people in charge do nothing?

  2. What a coincidence! David (A Malaysian Blogger)is also writing several articles about his travel to Laos. Roger, check this blog:

    Sigh...I don't think I can resist giving handouts and money to them. They look so innocent.


  3. Your observations are true, Andy. These people are more preoccupied with their own self-interests and lining their pockets.

  4. Alec,thanks for the link. One of the motivations for my blog is the hope of finding other independent travellers but we are like space travellers perhaps missing each other in the vastness of blogosphere.

  5. Roger, you are right for not handing out money to the children. However, I really don't know whether I can resist giving money to these children or not when I face them one day. They look so innocent and pitiful.

  6. Maybe, Roger you could give them a picture book that simply depicts education as a way out of poverty.By doing so you show kindness without foster a begging mentality.

  7. To Teoh and Wee,

    Their temple is the focal point for community assistance. Giving to the temple whether in kind or money is much better. Books make excellent gifts as mentioned by Wee. I was shown a small English library in a temple with books donated by an organisation from the US.