Sunrise Over Wat Thamkrabok: A Photographic Legacy of the Last Hmong American Refugees

Paperback, 520 pages, 8x10, English
by Brian V. Xiong and Marlin L. Heise
ISBN: 978-1-64410-029-5


To all of the Hmong who have lived in Wat Thamkrabok and are now scattered around the world. We dedicate this book as a memory of good and bad times together. 

When Thailand closed refugee camps in December 1992, Wat Thamkrabok (called Tha Ka Bo or Vaj Loog Tsua by Hmong) became a Hmong settlement until some 15,000 were resettled in the United States in 2004-2006, the last wave of Hmong refugees. At our 2017 Wat Thamkrabok Reunion in Minnesota held at the East Side Freedom Library, “The Past in the Present: An Exhibition and Reunion Celebration for Hmong Families from Wat Thamkrabok,” we displayed hundreds of photos and many items left behind, including marbles, an armless Barbie doll, two small wooden stools, and a skirt later identified.

SUNRISE OVER WAT THAMKRABOK: A Photographic Legacy of the Last Hmong American Refugees encompass the experiences of Wat Thamkrabok former residents in Minnesota and across the United States, we hope this book will revive many memories of the camp. For the general public, this book will give insight into the conditions of crowded refugee existence and the lives of their neighbors before they came to America.

This book is made possible by Minnesota Humanities Center Legacy Cultural Heritage & Identity Grant, Hmong Archives Wat Thamkrabok Collections, and Hmong Educational Resources Publisher.