inconsistent news from southeast asia

Travel time: September 2005 - March 2006  |  by Matthew Audley

Laos crash course.

alrighty, time to educate on Laos, not that i know much.


  • Pop; 5.8 million

  • Actually the Lao people's democratic republic. Yes, they ARE communists.

  • The french added the "s" to Laos, so if one wants to be politically correct it is pronounced La-o.

  • Laos claims dubious fame as the most bombed country on earth, thanks to a 9-year bombing campaign by the U.S. They spent 2.2 million dollars a day dropping bombs on this country on a daily basis and unexploded ordinance is still a problem, with many accidents occuring annualy and clean-up proceeding at a snail's pace.

  • The currency here is the Kip. 9263 Kip = 1 CAD. 266 Kip = 1 Baht.

  • As you probably know, Laos was a french colony for quite a long time. At least they left something good behind: baguettes are everywhere. And la vache qui rit cheese!

  • There are NO ATMs with international connections here. This is important if you visit. U.S. dollars and Thai baht are commonly accepted (and it's no wonder considering how many bills of their currency it takes to buy anything.

Things seem to be more laid back here. The people talk more quietly and aren't as eager to sell to you. I really like it.

Onwards. Day 40 was our first day of exploring this beautiful town.

We checked out the museum, at which i was not able to take any pictures. It was previously the royal palace and is very impressive, i admit, though i didn't mange to learn much.

Much of the later afternoon was spent staring out over the Mekong at a village on the other side. People fishing, swimming, watering crops - lots of children playing. They seem awfully happy.

We checked out the great night market here, too (yes, they are everywhere) and i accidentally made a big heavy purchase. Whoops.

Some of the impossibly green rice paddies of Laos, with the mountains that are invariably in the background of every picture.

Some of the impossibly green rice paddies of Laos, with the mountains that are invariably in the background of every picture.

© Matthew Audley, 2005
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The trip
Leaving for bangkok on Sept. 12. Where we go from there is anyone's guess. Hoping to see Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Be back in six months or so if everything goes well. There really isn't much of a route planned - we'll see what happens.
Start of journey: Sep 12, 2005
Duration: 6 months
End of journey: Mar 19, 2006
Travelled countries: Thailand
Southeastern Asia
The Author
Matthew Audley is an active author on break-fresh-ground. since 19 years.
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