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These photos have come from the last 30+ years of living and traveling in southeast Asia. Most of the photos on the websight were taken by Sam, and some were taken by his friend and climbing partner Dr. Volker Schoeffl on various trips they took together. The region has changed a lot in that time. 

The Plain of Jars of Laos, near Long Tieng and Lima Site 20/Alternate, in early 2001. North Vietnamese and Hmong forces continually fought over the area during the Second Indochina War

A carved relief at Angkor Wat, Cambodia. circa 1992. photo Sam Lightner Jr.

Vietnam has changed a lot since the early 1990's.

For thousands of years the Mekong has been the main transportation artery through southeast Asia.

The Li River in southern China

Unexploded ordnance lies all over Laos. This is an 81mm mortar shell.

Angkor Wat at sunset.

Thai Royal Palace in Bangkok.

In 1996 Lao Aviation was still flying old Soviet hand-me-downs. For the most part these old Antanov 24's have been retired... thankfully.

The Mekong River at sunset.

Luang Prabang during the monsoon season.

The Annamite Mountains of Laos are not the highest mountains in the world, but their summits can be very difficult and dangerous to reach. Here a mahout and elephant enjoy a nice dry day.

"Hello. May I barrow your Kalashnikov."


Karst topography of southeast Asia.

A guardian at the Thai Royal Palace.

The buddhas of Angkor Wat were taken care even when the palace was on the front lines of the Cambodian Civil War (1992).


Sam looking through the wreckage of a downed B-52 in 1990. The missile in the background is a Soviet Dvina SA-2, the most feared by American pilots in the war. The photo was taken by Jacob Valdez/Cowboyography.

A typical farming scene amid the karst spires of Nihn Binh Province, northern Vietnam, 1990.

Climbing in Halong Bay in 1990. photo Jacob Valdez

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