“HAVE YOU BEEN TO LAOS?”
When I lived in Cambodia in the 90s, you could be pretty sure if you talked to a backpacker, they’d ask you this.
The last -or slowest at least- country to emerge from behind the bamboo curtain, this one time communist, Royalist, Buddhist Land Of A Million Elephants never grabbed the headlines that its neighbours – Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Burma- did. Despite the devastation wrought by U.S. bombers in their Vietnam and Cambodian wars, the mountains and forests offer much for the visitor. See them before China cuts them all down.
Hiking and biking in the north, temple towns, rivers and limestone peaks for climbing, Khmer temples, farming villages, and a cuisine which gives Thai a run for its money. No wonder the backpackers were keen.
NORTHERN LAOS: Where a million elephants (may have) once roamed.
CENTRAL LAOS: Vientiane, round Thailand to Savannakhet
SOUTHERN LAOS: Coffee, tobacco, Khmers and more.