Laos has remained virtually unchanged for half a century. Rich in history and culture, Laos and its peoples, more than 47 ethnic groups, harmonize life to ancient rhythms and traditions that evoke timeless Asia. Although the trappings of the modern world are becoming increasingly visible, Laos remains the least developed country in Southeast Asia. A country where experienced travelers will appreciate breathtaking scenery and ofcourse the friendly people. On deviously swift streams, nimble families leave for distant fields never seen by infrequent visitors. In Laos, a significant number of Hmong people live in the mountainous regions. The Hmong support themselves with their small vegetable gardens here along various rivers in the forestry nearby Vang Vieng.
Along the way to the morning market we met this friendly old woman. While enjoying the moment I took a quick snapshot. She is collecting her vegetables for the morning market in Vang Vieng. The market is located five kilometers north of the town. Many Lao people support themselves. Such hard life for this elderly women where life expectancy is 59 years (est. 2008) .
Laos, one of the world's few remaining Communist regimes, is also one of Asia's poorest nations. The current government came to power in 1975 and immediately imposed a rigid socialist economic program. Change began in 1986 with the loosening of restrictions on private enterprise. Since then, Laos has enjoyed high economic growth, despite poor national infrastructure and a dominant, inefficient agriculture sector. It is also heavily reliant on international assistance programs. In 1998, Laos began formal negotiations with the World Trade Organization. In 2008 a 5.60 US$/day per capita.