9 February 2017

Laos: A Change of Plan

Laos is probably the country we spent the least time researching prior to our trip. It's landlocked between Thailand, China, Vietnam and Cambodia which places it very much in the center of the classic South East Asia backpacking route. We were completely shocked to learn from a war museum in Luang Prabang that the US dropped over 250 million cluster bombs on Laos during a 'secret war' that coincided the Vietnam war, which also ended in 1973 with a communist victory. What's more, roughly 30% of the total number of bombs dropped were un-exploded, which leaves large areas of the country not only in great poverty but unable to open its doors to tourists. That said, tourism in Laos is now heavily focused on only 3 main cities: Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. Almost everyone we met was massively underwhelmed with Laos and what these three cities had to offer in comparison to the rest of South East Asia, so after a week in Luang Prabang we made a decision to head north and spend our time immersed the beauty of rural, mountainous (what we have come to know as) 'Laid back Laos'. 

Our experiences of rural Lao life to follow...

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