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Long Cheng Posters!
We recently had some 12 x 18 inch poster prints made of Long Cheng incorporating photos we’ve taken when we’ve flown from Vientiane to Sam Neua. As you can see the background photo shows Long Cheng (the airstrip and village) within the context of the topography of the mountainous landscape. The photo on the lower left is a close-up of the entire strip and the black and white photo on the right was taken in 1970 at the height of the Secret War. Although the photo you see is watermarked, the print is not.
From our friend Jim Harris’s website about Long Cheng:
CIA agent William Young was given the responsibility of scouting out places that would serve as bases of support for Vang Pao’s growing army. Working with Hmong leaders, he found several excellent locations. The most promising was a village named Long Cheng.
In his book, Harvesting Pa Chay’s Wheat, Keith Quincy describes the location:
“The place was a natural wonder. The limestone mountains girding the high plateau were towering sculptures of nature, their summits forming a linked network of serpentine ridges and razor-edged crests, shaped over the millennia by oceans of monsoon rains. White mists whirled around the higher peaks. A fur of dark green moss blanketed the hillsides. Gnarled trees with limbs twisted into fantastic shapes clung to the steep slopes. It was a Chinese scroll painting come to life, a Shangri-La, a place out of time and of indescribable beauty.
“Young had not selected Long Cheng for its breathtaking scenery. What attracted him was the plateau’s protective barrier of mountains, making it a difficult place for the communists to attack.
“Within two years, the CIA would begin to expand Long Cheng’s airstrip into a mile-long, asphalt, all-weather runway…. The CIA constructed large storage facilities, new housing, a communications center, and a private residence for Vang Pao.
“Year after year, Long Cheng would continue to expand, becoming by the mid-1960’s one of the largest American military installations on foreign soil. Toward the end of the war, air traffic at the CIA base was heavier than at Chicago’s O’Hare International airport.
"Eventually, Long Cheng would outgrow its original design as a secret CIA paramilitary training center. By war’s end, Long Cheng had a population of nearly 50,000, making it the second largest city in Laos. Long Cheng … evolved into a major population center rivaling Vientiane. In addition to Hmong soldiers, American and Thai technicians, and CIA operatives, there were tens of thousands of Hmong refugees. An urban sprawl of potpourri dwellings (bungalows, shanties, tarpaper huts) pushed inward to the edges of the bases’ long airstrip and outward toward the surrounding hills. There were markets and shops to accommodate the population and taxis to transport Hmong to other nearby refugee settlements….”
We are selling our prints near wholesale and all money goes toward supporting our literacy projects in Laos. Un-laminated prints are 2 for $5 and laminated prints are 2 for $10. When you order on the website you will have two choices, laminated and un-laminated. The unit price will either be $5 or $10, and you will receive two posters per unit price.