This diary describes the adventures and observations of a French woman during a trip up the Mekong to Luang-Prabang and back through Siam. At the end of 1909 the territorial situation in Indochina was largely consolidated and Marthe Bassenne's book provides a first glimpse of the extent of the French efforts to open up the eagerly fought-over hinterland of Tonkin, Annam and Cochinchina. The Mekong and the Lao jungles are as wild and deadly as ever and this trip to experience the New Year Festivities in Luang-Prabang is full of adventures with local people and wild nature.
On the way back, through the North-Eastern Siamese provinces of Nongkhai, Uttaradit and Phitsanuloke, rare glimpses of the commercial onslaught of British and German interests, as well as the feelings of the indigenous people towards a French woman, are faithfully recorded. For, while this book is factually correct in its details, it is so much the richer for its emphasis on impressions and personal feelings of one of the rare woman travelers in this part of the Far East. The beautiful original photographs of the first edition overwhelm the reader and immerse him in a wild world long forgotten . . . jungles and natural resources that are today, once again, ready to be developed.
(Bangkok 1995, first translation of the original French text of 1912)
144 pp., 145 x 210 mm, pbk.
Carné, Louis de,
This book is a report of the most famous expedition in Indochina, i.e., the exploration of the Mekong as a trade route and as a route to build political influence in Indochina. This French official mission toiled under duress for two years, losing its commander on the way, and it made, for the first time, a systematic description of the great river and its surrounding peoples and natural resources. Louis de Carné was the representative of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and in charge of writing the trade and political report on the findings of the commission. The book does more than that as it takes up the history of particular areas in some detail to place the French prospects for gaining influence in perspective. Illustrated with original sketches, many of which were made by L. Delaporte, another member of the mission, this book is essential reading for all those who seek to understand the background of today's geo-political changes and the new attempts to tap the rich sources of the river, its tributary valleys, and its peoples.
(Bangkok 1995, reprint from 1869)
416 pp., 27 pp. illus., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.
At the time of its first publication in 1879, it was the first record in English of the French penetration into Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia which led, within a few years, to French colonization of this region. Making extensive use of first-hand accounts, the author provides the essence of the major voyages of Indo-Chinese exploration of the period. Here are: Henri Mouhot's pioneering 1860 account of his ascent of the middle and upper Mekong; Lieutenant Francis Garnier's bold exploration of Cambodia, Laos, Tonkin and Yunnan; and Dr. Morice's peregrinations along the little-known margins of Cochin-China.
(Bangkok 1994, reprint from 1890)
152 pp., 32 pp. illus., 145 x 210 mm, pbk.
A first English translation of one of the most important expeditions sent to the Indo-China region to explore trade routes. The French expedition compiled a wealth of new information, drew up maps, and produced a substantial number of engravings of picturesque views and of colorful local people. This first book contains the report of the Commission's peregrinations in Cambodia and in part of Laos. It ends in Luang Prabang where the Commission stayed some months. While the original objective to ascertain that the Mekong River could be used as a trade route between Yunnan and the Delta was not achieved, the Commission's political and socio-economic information was invaluable for France's expansion in Indochina. A new map of Indochina as surveyed by the commission is included in this book.
(Bangkok 1996) ISBN 974-8496-73-2
370 pp., illus., 1 folded map, 145 x 210 mm, pbk.
The first part of the journey brings the expedition to Luang Prabang. This second volume continues the voyage to Yunnan. It covers upper Laos, and Yunnan and ends with the return of the commission via China, with reports on the dramatic Muslim uprising in Southern China. Several attempts to identify trade routes on the Mekong of the commission's most famous member, Francis Garnier, are also included in the report.
(Bangkok 1996), ISBN 974-8496-75-9
311 pp., illus., 145 x 210 mm, pbk.
Garnier, Francis and Louis Deleporte,
A PICTORIAL JOURNEY ON THE OLD MEKONG:
3 of the Mekong Exploration Commission Report (1866-1868)
The first 2 parts contain the actual report with many illustrations. This third part, in enlarged format, contains further illustrations, particularly larger color prints. The third part graphically supplements the 2 previous parts.
(Bangkok 1996) ISBN 974-8496-76-7
225 pp., fully illus., partly in color, 210 x 290 mm, pbk. forthcoming
Goldman, Ann Y.,
(See textile section)
(Bangkok 1995) ISBN 974-8496-41-4
150 pp., fully illus. in color, 235 x 310 mm, pbk.
Written by a member of the famous Mission Pavie, this book describes the dramatic final episode in the tale of French conquests in Indochina. The rivalry of British imperialism and French colonial activists, mostly operating from their Indochinese base in Saigon, reached its culmination when the Asian possessions of the superpowers met in Upper Laos. Several small states that had been able to preserve their relative independence by paying tribute to virtually all regional powers that wanted it, were finally caught up in the denouncement of colonial expansion. France was to be the victor this time and former neutral states such as Muong Sing, the Hua Pan Tang Ha Tang Hoc, the Sip Song Chu Tai and the Sip Song Pana, with their semi-independent rulers, were to disappear, to become present-day Laos and part of Vietnam. The story unfolds amidst the wild landscapes and fertile valleys of Upper Laos where, for centuries, different peoples, all with their particular customs, dress and languages, had fought each other for control of the land and the trade routes. The mission and Dr. Lefèvre spared no effort to travel the country back and forth until finally a Franco-British agreement settled the border and also the fate of the peoples. In many cases, Dr. Lefèvre was the first white man the tribes saw and he, in turn, was the last man to see their authentic life styles.
(Bangkok 1995, first translation of the original French text of 1891) ISBN 974-8496-38-4
229 pp., illus., 130 x 200 mm, pbk.
A Survey of Local Communities in a Hydropower Project Area (Uppsala 1993)
88 pp., illus., 165 x 245 mm, pbk.
A Case Study of a Hmong Community in Vientiane Province, Laos. (Uppsala 1995)
101 pp., 2 maps, 20 illus., 170 x 240 mm, pbk.
This book examines the history and politics of modern Laos from its establishment as a French colony in the late 19th century to the communist state it is today. While the first three chapters outline the struggle between France and Thailand for control over the territory of the present Lao state, the period of French administration, and the Kingdom of Laos from 1946 to 1975, the focus primarily is on the Lao People's Democratic Republic during the first two decades of its existence.
Themes taken up include the leadership of the Lao revolutionary movement, why the regime failed to carry through its policy of agricultural cooperativization, and its close relationship with Vietnam. Special attention is given to the transition from Buddhist kingdom to Marxist state, how the Lao communist hierarchy have attempted to legitimize their seizure and exercise of power, and how the Buddhist monastic order was reduced to a pliant instrument of the new regime. Chapters also assess the errors and achievements of the Lao revolution, the politics of patronage in present-day Laos, and the effectiveness of Lao foreign policy. The last two chapters weigh up the role of the ruling Lao People's Revolutionary Party and look to the future of Laos in the rapidly integrating region of mainland Southeast Asia.
(Bangkok 1995) ISBN 974-8496-48-1
295 pp., 150 x 210 mm, pbk.
An anthropological study of road construction and rural communities. (Uppsala 1993)
99 pp., illus., 165 x 240 mm, pbk.
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