Here is a fantastic image from Panpilai Kitsudsaeng, a PhD scholar here at the ANU. Panpilai writes:
Khamu women and girls selling bamboo shoots along the newly improved road from Houayxai to Luangnamtha in north-western Laos. They cleverly select a steep hill or sharp curve where cars have to slow down as their seasonal road side market place.
What will be the longer term impact of the road on these women and girls? Is this a snapshot of early steps towards engagement with new economic opportuntity? Or are the signs more ominous – as the road promotes new forms of economic integration will the forest products on which these women depend for supplementary income be depleted well before substantial new economic opportunities come to take their place?