Feb 2, 2017
This story starts in 2008. On a misty morning, Phasi, a local farmer of Ngodphae Village, in the Northern Lao province of Xieng Khouang climbed Phou San, a mountain close to his village. Huddled in a fleece jacket against the chill of the morning, he ascended higher and higher on the slopes. Collecting dewdrops on the tip of his fingers, his hands brushed the low shrubs by his feet as he was panting up the mountain. Stopping cold in his tracks, he suddenly bowed down, close to one of the light-green plants by his feet. In an affectionate gesture, he stroked the top of the Camellia Sinensis bush, turning the branches around to see whether the pointed leaves bore the secret he was looking for.