Photographer's Note

MRT- Mass Rapid Transit ala Laos PDR (Please Dont Rush)

Whilst wandering in the early morning through the rural Hmong village north of Van Vieng, I come across this fascinating multi purpose slow moving vehicle locally called ' Songthaew' - a standard mode of public transport linking deep rural hinterland and the terminal along the main highway Route13. Usually the folks are expected to cram themselves and sometimes literally anything that can carry objects will be filled to well over capacity. This is probably only unique in Asia and nowhere else.

As you can see, it uses a small tractor engine with manual handles to steer the vehicle. The tractor engine is attached to a wooden carriage which has 2 benches for passengers to sit on. The name “songthaew” literally means “Two Benches” and it’s pretty obvious when you see the vehicle. I can guarantee that it is not the most comfortable things to ride on, especially on rough terrain, but it serves the purpose really well as it has managed to develop its own way of taking people from point A to point B. But the great thing about this hardy makeshift-looking vehicle is its ability to run like a 4WD and plough through mud and even do river crossing as I have witnessed in Nam Song River

Happy ride folks............

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6680 W: 150 N: 14602] (64343)
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