Tribes and Indigenous People in Lao PDR

Video | 11 December 2013

Villagers in isolated north west Lao PDR experience economic and social opportunities thanks to Greater Mekong Subregion Route 3.

Transcript

Title: Tribes and Indigenous People in Lao PDR

Description: Villagers in isolated north west Lao PDR experience economic and social opportunities thanks to Greater Mekong Subregion Route 3.

VO: In the remotest part of northwest Lao PDR lives one of the two last remaining tribes of the ethnic Sadang people. The ancestors of these villages migrated South from Yunnan in the PRC over 3,000 years ago.

SOT: Thong Sy
Village Elder
We came in two groups. We were on horses and the others came on foot. They called us yellow banana leaves because our roofs were made from banana leaves.

VO: The remoteness of the village and small population means that life here has remained largely unchanged. Baskets and small amounts of surplus of rice from harvest can be sold in the nearest town. And that used to be almost a day’s walk away.

The new Route 3, a road that links northwest Lao PDR to PRC and Thailand is bringing economic and social opportunities to the village.

SOT: Villager
I have planted rubber for export and that will bring in money. Tourists now come to the village and stay in our homes and we make more money. Tourists are welcome.

VO: Now, the trip to the nearest town takes only an hour and changes to the village are enormous. Better attention rate at school, access to health care, and higher income.

SOT: Buon Tha Thong Many
Village Elder
Now, it has changed. They have schools. They have clinics. They have solar panels and water and a big road to town.

VO: In the remote northwest of Lao PDR the Sadang now straddle two worlds. They are still far from modernity but with the help of a new road they are now enjoying a better life.