Constructively Enjoying Lockdown in Luang Prabang, LAOS

I couldn’t think of a better place to end up during these crazy times. Luang Prabang truly is a hidden gem that I’ve been lucky enough to call home for two years now.

farm work

I was in the military then became a teacher, but it wasn’t until I came to Luang Prabang that I discovered I love working in hospitality.


I was a general manager before the pandemic, but there are almost zero high paying tourists left, so some of the things I ended up doing were farm work and construction. An old guy I’ve known since I got here was laughing at me helping a chicken that had fallen out of the tree. He thought it was really funny that I used to be wearing a suit and now I was a chicken farmer.

Before and after lacquer.

I lived on a sailboat in San Diego for two years where I learned how important wood maintenance was. The wood lacquer here was cheaper than foreign beer and brought all the doors and frames to a shiny finish. I had to do a before and after of half the door so the owner would agree. This picture convinced her we needed a lot more wood lacquer.

Crocodile cement

All the construction workers here use this crap they call Epson. I think it’s a liquid version of drywall. Whatever it is, it sucks, so I used cement to repair many things.

more cement

Fixing cracks and holes in the walls works best with cement here because they don’t use drywall for walls. It’s mostly bricks and mortar construction.


It will take a bit more paint to cover up later, but it is permanently repaired.

Only use 3M.

I don’t know what kind of painter’s tape you have where you are from, but here in Laos, there is only one choice, 3M. If you use any of the cheap Chinese ones, they’ll fail you. The paint will leak through. Sticky residue will be left behind. And worst of all, it won’t even stick to anything longer than a day. What’s the best painter’s tape in your opinion?


If I were from here, I’d hate Americans for all the bombs the CIA dropped here that are still exploding and killing kids today, but they have the attitude that it was in the past and forgive my generation for what our elders did to them. This very American screwdriver was made in China.

Make the cut.

The first room I started to renovate had false windows with thin plywood. I could hear the owner talking in Laos and watching songs on YouTube like she was in the same room, so I got some better plywood and cut it to fit the window. I glued and cemented it in and it added some privacy to the room.

Sanding the flakes out.

I wish it was as easy to rid life of flaky people as it was to sand out the flakes of the plywood.

art time

After cementing and painting, it was time to bring life to this boring windowless room.

Kuang Si

I used my pocket projector to trace the famous waterfall with pencil.


I didn’t have the best paint or brushes.

abandoned painting

The owner told me to finish this by the end of the day. It made me not want to paint it any more and I just left it like this.

hammer time

Heavy foreigners warped this bed so the owner used a strap and a hammer to warp it back.

Line it up.

They most likely used strings to line things up even before the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

Get your wiring right.

The electrician did something wrong, so they will have to rip out some of the new ceiling again.


The drywall here is different. It’s the cheapest junk from China.

bad idea

This plugin was loose and it always had the TV power cord falling out so I thought I could make the holes catchier by adding cement and paint. It achieved the goal of keeping the TV plugged in, but it looks very *Flintstones*.

Not this time.

This time I put tape over the face so it would look the same, but it didn’t come out so well. I really need to work on making plugins look nice.

finished ceiling

It only gets too hot here in the summer so you don’t need airconditioning, but all the rooms will have it if you want it.

Mekong sunset

Thanks for reading. How have you been killing the time?