Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Curse of the Pogo Stick

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Curse of the Pogo Stick

By Colin Cotterill

Curse of the Pogo Stick

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Beyond the Book

A Brief History of Laos

The Lao People's Democratic Republic, commonly known as Laos (sounds like 'louse') is located in South-East Asia where it is sandwiched by Vietnam on the East and Thailand on the West. It shares its northern border with China and Burma/Myanmar, and its southern border with Cambodia (map). It's population is about 6.6 million people.

Laotian are believed to be descendents of Thai tribes from the 13th century. In the mid-14th century a powerful kingdom was founded by Fa Ngoun (1353-73) who is credited with the introduction of Buddhism to the area. In 1707 internal dissent split the country into two kingdoms (upper northern and lower southern). Vientiane, the setting of the novel is in the lower region. During the next century the two states, constantly quarreling, were overrun by the armies of the neighboring countries, mainly Siam (which became Thailand in 1939). In 1893 Siam was forced to recognize a French ...

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