Mateja and I just got back from Laos. We went to rural north of the country which is famous for many picturesque villages, Mekong river and its pearl, Luang Prabang. 19th century French colonialism gave Luang Prabang charming European look that goes really well with numerous Buddhist temples, therefore it was worthily put on UNESCO World Heritage list.
Local street vendors sell Lao food on the night market while French style cafes offer baguettes, toast sandwiches and croissants. Apart from food, the night market offers many local handcrafts, souvenirs and, sadly, even ivory.

The prices in Laos were surprisingly higher then in Thailand, I’m guessing the locals started to transition from farming to easier means of income such as tourism, and begun to boost prices.
After Luang Prabang we took a 3 hour bus drive (90km) to Nong Khiaw and then a boat to Muang Ngoy. The area is really quite with endless possibilities for various outdoor activities.
From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions, equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 9 years. Making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.

Laos has a great potential to become a reputable destination for sustainable eco tourism, but these things always pay off in long term. I hope Laos takes that road.
If you want something different to Thailand, more quite, more outdoor oriented and don’t mind 50 roosters waking you up in the morning, Laos is the place for you.

Enjoy my gallery.