My trip to Laos was brief and, on the whole, brilliant, barring the scam fiasco of the last day in Luang Prabang.
I wish I’d managed to see a little more of the country and spend more time with the locals, but I didn’t quite realise how much time I’d spent in Thailand, not really doing much. But there you are, you learn and I’ll be planning the rest of the trip a little bit more than just ‘ah I’ll go there next…’
The main impressions that I have of Laos are:
- mountains, mountains and more mountains. Covered in forests and jungle, long twisting roads passing through linear villages with small children walking to school, even smaller children playing by the side of the road.
- the misty vistas that ideas of Asia bring to mind. Mountains looking like torn tissue paper, fading off into the distance.
- A father having a waterfight with his son as we drove past, the child giggling in delight.
- Friendliness of strangers (mostly) offering directions, tips for good food options.
- Resourcefullness and hard work ethic. People were selling items made from the shells dropped during the ‘American War‘, flowers and peace signs shaped from the metal and destruction brought by American bombers. I had no idea that Laos had been affected so badly, I’ll certainly be reading more about it in the coming weeks.
- Water, water everywhere…
In Luang Prabang the main feature of the surrounding landscape is the Mekong River, winding it’s way past the city, conjoining with the Nam Khan and in the evening you can sit and watch the sunset over the river.