Photos of our time in Laos are available in the Photos menu items or a link is available here.
Let’s start with the good. The plain of Jars was one of the most amazing sights we have ever seen, Allan fulfilled a travel ambition to see the mighty Mekong, the sculpture park was spectacular, the French food was unbelievably fantastic and the hospitality was generally very warm and genuine.
However, Laos as a travel destination was a challenge. It beat us. We left for Thailand for a few days during our allotted 30 days. Infrastructure, particularly transport was very difficult. A “simple” 150km bus ride can take 10 hours, airplane tickets (for tourists) are relatively expensive for those on a budget, tourist sites are often only accessible by car/driver, hotel standards – except the wonderful Ban Sufa – aren’t in the same standard as Thailand or Bali and the food is not as varied or tasty. A special mention must be made to the damn restaurant in Luang Prabang that made Allan ill for a week, although this could happen anywhere in the world, so slightly unfair.
All this must be taken in context. If we had been on a 3 week holiday and on our normal holiday budget, I’m sure we would have had a great time. We must also remember that Laos is a very poor nation, it has been dealt a horrible deal in the all too recent past and wasn’t even open for any visitors until around 30 years ago. We hope that Laos PDR reaches it’s full potential and UXO becomes an acronym that no-one knows the meaning of.