As part of Indochina, Laos was almost forgotten by the French due to the difficulty of access by water. It is a land-locked country with the Mekong river crossing the entire north-south axis of the country. Beautiful and life giving as it may be, the Mekong with its waterfalls and patches of shallow water, was not apt for navigation. The French have thus preferred to develop Vietnam and Cambodia instead. Today, the neighboring Vietnam and Thailand are on their path to economic prosperity on top gear. In Laos, one does not feel the rush of capitalism, and in fact, Lao people seem to prefer a lower gear to savour life in its many guises... It is a blessing for those of us who have the chance to discover this country still so untouched by mass tourism - truly a diamond in the rough!
Laos has many temples and stupas in all their cities and towns. The Lao people are very pious Buddhists. This is the famous Pha Thad Luang in Vientiane.
A Lao bride and groom at Thad Luang. Just take a look at the beautiful silk weaving the bride is wearing!
Wat Sisaket - the wat (temple) of the princes and kings, Vientiane
On top of the mountain in Luang Prabrang, such a beautiful and charming town! I wish I were still there...
The mighty Mekong in Luang Prabang
The Alms Giving early morning Luang Prabang
Preparation for a Buddhist festival in one of the monasteries in Luang Prabang
Part of the palace of the last king, today a museum
The famous Wat Phou, the most important Khmer site in Laos, near Champasek
Cartwheels between two palaces in Wat Phou
The dancing Apsara on the facade of the temple at Wat Phou
The Mekong river transformed into the largest waterfall in South East Asia, the Khone Phapheng near the Cambodian border.
Our guide showing us the way in zip lining, in Bolaven Plateau. An amaxing experience for kids and adults alike. I can't recommend enough! Top Ultra! We zip lined with Treetop Explorers.
The wonderful pictures above tell the story of a laid back country in peace. However, Laos was also involved in the Second Indochina War (Vietnam war) that left the country scarred. There are still large parts of jungles that are inaccessible due to UXO (unexploded ordnance). For more stories of this period, check out my Instagram posts end of August/ beginning of September, when I posted pictures and stories after my first visit to north of Laos.