We were traveling Vietnam and Laos for three weeks during winter 2022/23. Like most tourists, we simply wanted to have a good time. We chose Laos as our first destination and quickly felt captured by its comfortable pace and diversity. Laos has this mix of progressive use of technology while cultivating authentic, deeply-rooted traditions. Obviously, there are many problems caused by under-development but at the same time, this bears a wealth of opportunities. We did not know what to do with this first but witnessed with amazement. That changed quickly.
One of many formative moments happened during an evening at Big Brother Mouse language in Luang Prabang. Flatfooted we stumbled into one of their open English conversation hours. It was an entertaining evening as we spent more than two hours intensely talking with some of the students. We realised only later that we were in the middle of really making a difference.
Not only did we learn a lot about Laotian everyday life and culture, but it occurred to us that we were giving these students access to a unique learning experience by simply talking to them. Having English language skills in Laos directly translates into better career opportunities. We woke up to rendering ourselves useful by simply spending some time and giving something that felt completely natural to us. Perhaps it was this moment of realisation that sparked the idea for this website.
Later on our trip we had long conversations with one of our tour guides, Yia, who always let us feel his sincere interest in us people rather than only a source of his income. Yia’s curiousity was astounding and we discussed the idea of creating a simple web site for promoting tour guides in Laos. One thing lead to another and here you go. Sabaidi-Loas was born and we hope it grows and can be useful for you, too.