The country of Laos (The Lao People's Democratic Republic, or Lao PDR)
is landlocked by China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. It has a population of over 6 million with 49 ethnic groups - mostly Lao, Khmou and Hmong. Laos' capital city and economic center is Vientiane, with a population of 750,000. Exports include water-generated electricity and precious metals.
The Lao people enjoy a tropical climate year-round. They've given the PDR acronym a double-meaning to convey their laid-back lifestyle - Please Don't Rush. Lao's tourism industry is steadily growing, as nature lovers flock to the beautiful waterfalls, limestone landscape formations, Buddhist and Hindu temples, ferry-studded bodies of water and rare snub-nosed dolphins along the small islands. You might end a long, hot day in an open-air market with a delicious meal of sticky rice, Larb, and a cold bottle of BeerLao.
Kulap's parents met and fled from Laos in the late 70s after the Vietnam and Secret War. They escaped across the Mekong River to reach a refugee camp in Thailand before immigrating to the United States. ORIGIN STORY marks the first time Ku traveled to the country on her own as an adult.