Laotian Pages

A Classic Account of Travel in Upper, Middle and Lower Laos

Alfred Raquez (edited and translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux)

752 pp., 2 vols, 310 illustrations & 13 maps
Exploring Asia # 2
Available from NIAS Press Worldwide




Hardback - 2018, Recently Published
ISBN 978-87-7694-247-2, £100
Paperback - 2018, Recently Published
ISBN 978-87-7694-248-9, £30.00


  • First scholarly translation of Alfred Raquez’s classic travel account of fin de siècle Indochina.
  • Explores the rugged terrain of far-flung Laos with an insightful, humorous yet mysterious master of travel writing.
  • Extensive notes and an introduction give historical context and modern realities for the places covered.


Laos, 1900 – a frontier land caught in a power struggle between Eastern kingdoms and Western colonial powers, a fertile place teetering between an ancient pastoral existence and the modern machine age. Alfred Raquez’s Laotian Pages vividly describes his exploration of the diverse kingdoms of Laos at the turn of the last century with the same Parisian verve and ironic turn of mind that he brought to his first travel book, In the Land of Pagodas. Raquez’s keen eye and sensitivity to the exotic in both nature and human culture, combined with a mastery of the genre and his hallmark conversational style, transport the reader to the largely unexplored frontier of fin-de-siècle Indochina.
     Long known only to specialists on the history and ethnography of the region, this new work presents a scholarly translation into English together with Raquez’s original photographs that will finally allow a wide audience to experience the joys and hardships of travel in a land that is both timeless and forever changing. In addition, a wide-ranging introduction and extensive footnotes provide historical context and ‘then-and-now’ perspectives on the cultures and landscape that have undergone massive change in the past century.
     In the Land of Pagodas, a scholarly translation by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux of Alfred Raquez’s book of travels through China in 1899, was published in 2017 by NIAS Press.

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