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Visiting Laos is not about having a checklist of star attractions. Though Laos does boast two UNESCO World Heritage sites, what’s unique about the ‘land of the million elephants’ is the opportunity to experience and observe traditional Southeast Asian village life, yet unmarred by the frenzy, hustle and bustle of its larger cousins. As one of the least touristy destinations in the world, Laos does not have a well developed transportation infrastructure. Most roads are still dirt paths that become a mud bath (read = impassable) during monsoon season. This lack of easy transportation plays a large role in preserving Laos the way it has been. Dense jungles still cover much of the country, as do breathtaking limestone mountains that tower over meandering rivers. Tumbling waterfalls cascade deep into extensive cave systems.  Rice patties dot the country’s landscape along the network of dirt roads. In Laos, you can be active and outdoors, whether it’s kayaking, trekking, biking across the country, or just taking it easy and soaking in the villages as they pass by on a tranquil river cruise along the Mekong River. Visit hill tribes up in the North and learn about the intricacies of textile work as village women show you their craft.  Watch farmers hard at work tending to their crops and livestock.  This is a place to get away from it all. 

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Questions answered about visiting Laos
I'm planning to go to cambodja and laos ( maybe vietnam) next summer, the plan is to fly from here to Bangkok, because it's the cheapest, can anybody tell me what is the easiest way to go from bangkok to laos , cambodja? I would like to go for 1,5 month maybe 2 months
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Laos trip: Hi, I'd like to know if it's easy take the VIP bus in Laos, and if it's possible to have a nigth travel. I'd go in July and I know that is the raining season ...
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Travel Tips from people who've been to Laos

If you don't like rain, mud, or walking much, I suggest not to go to Pakse during rainy season (June-August).  However, if you can stand all that, you might appreciate the jungles and waterfalls in southern Laos near Champasak and Pakse.  I found it more beautiful walking around in the rain.  Everything was green and the mud was...mud.  It made it more fun.  Everything gets wet and dirty and you might slip a little here and there.  In my opinion rainy season is the best season.  Just bring some extra clothes for changing.  If you are scared of getting a cold, just wear a pancho and some rain boots and you'll be fine.

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If you have braved the way through southern Laos, you deserve Don Det. I never felt more at home. It was, hands down, the most authentic SE Asian place I ever visited. The villagers live in the same manner as the generations before them, with only the addition of a few rows of guesthouses. You share the same toilet facilities with your adopted family. All the tiny naked toddlers stare and wave at you - goggle eyed. And napping in hammock over the Mekong River is forever etched in my mind's eye.

Warning
: The mosquitos are intense. After the sun falls, your flashlight is the only electric light for miles. No amount of deet can save you. I typically went to bed early, like the locals, seeking refuge under my mozzie net.

I stayed at: ponepasak guesthouse.

Don Det is my heaven. This tiny 1 x 2 kilometer island is charmingly sweet. One well-worn path loops the island, and renting a bicycle from a guesthouse is the best way to see things (although walking is the best way to make new friends, which you will). When I was there, I doubt there were a dozen other travellers, and those there were all very like-minded and open to the warmth and stories of the locals. Take a walk in any direction and any local in earshot will holler a "sabaidee!" your way, and a trail of little kids will creep behind you. I had one little guy in stitches when I started whistling - it cracked him up trying to mimic me. For some reason, I had John Denver's "Country Roads" stuck in my head during my stay, and I whistled it constantly. Mama at rasta cafe will win your heart, "you EEEAT! goooood! suh-peak lao!" which is your prompt to say something in lao. On the west side of the islands, at the aptly named "Sunset Cafe", you can have a Beer Lao and some fantastic food, served up with a sparkling show of reds and oranges burnt across the sky. Thomas and I biked over the bridge to Don Khon, where we found a guide to lead us to the Somphamit Falls (1.5 kilometers from the bridge). These falls are nothing like Kuang Si (Laos), Somphamit is thunderously powerful.

My home on don det was at phonepasak, run by the dynamite madame pihm and her precious family. She's a fabulous cook - ask for the delicious moc pa. One morning Mr. Pihm came in with twitching catfish hanging from his fingers, "Dinner!" he hollered and laughed. Madame Pimh steamed it for most of the day, wrapped in banana leaves, coconut and sweet seasonings... delicous. Stay any length of time and you'll feel like part of the family, eating at the table with kittens rolling around under the daughter's chair, and eating what's served not what you order. There were days I hardly left my hammock though, a good mafia book and some music, you hardly noticed time pass. As I was half-way through my trip, and I felt I'd earned some dedicated hammock-time. I could not have imagined or dreamed a better place on this planet. Even the mozzies couldn't dampen my joy!

...... Written in 2005 when I visited (travelogue & photos). God willing, life on Don Det hasn't changed much & hasn't been bombarded by the Bankok hippie-backpacker crush.....
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The red clay is pretty when its wet...
After a visa-crunch and 14 hour overnight bus ride through southern Laos, and a busdriver who blared Lao pop karaoke tapes at top volume, Pakse was a welcome site. Extensive Laotian travel is exhaustive, mentally and physically. You feel bones rattling in your body you didn't know you had, you wonder if chinese-water-torture could be much worse than this. You fantasize about pillows and ice cubes.

Dawn had just broken, and everything was dewy. The early morning air was cool and refreshing, the first specs of sunlight bouning off the red-tiled roofs of Pakse. Thomas & I had an early-morning, getting-off-that-stupid-bus beer with a Canadian artist. There are a handful of internet cafes and backpacker-friendly eateries, even some good Indian cuisine. The locals are shy but friendly, and life is noticeably slower than in Northern Laos. You can feel the kinks in your neck start to unwind a little bit as you sit by the side of the road, watching the schoolkids ambling by, smiling shyly at you. After a nap in grungy-hotel-from-Lonely-Planet, we were off again for the 4,000 Islands

Coming back through Pakse afterwards was a much... grittier... experience. Stef (enroute at the time) got an email from me warning "Welcome to the sand storm known as Pakse". The lovely red clay roads, when not sufficiently watered down, swell up. Operation "get out of pakse" was in full force, my resolve was unstoppable. "Cambodia, here i come" I muttered into the crook of my arm as I staggered through the red swirls, trying to cover my eyes. The Lao Aviation office was naturally on the other side of town. The town seemed to freeze in the dust, I thought of Pompeii. Although i could have just as easily shown up at the airport & been fine, as it turned out. The Pakse airport is a one-gate, one-desk, one-ticket-taker kind of deal. all 4 people working at the airport knew of my plans by the time I left. A french guy & I had a good chuckle at how we were the only two passengers for the day. I highly recommend Lao aviation from Pakse to Siem Reap - a full lunch was served on a 40 minute flight, plenty of comfortable room for a little plane, and sweet attendants.

... written in 2005 when I visited (check out my travelogue & photos).
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