Laos: South East Asia Without The Beach
It’s likely that Laos will never become as much of a tourist hub as neighbouring countries like Thailand or Vietnam. For starters, it’s a landlocked country completely lacking in palm-fringed beaches upon which to build all-inclusive seaside resorts. There are also no hugely famous tourist sites in the country. The traveler scene in Laos is mostly centered around the backpacking set.
There’s plenty of reasons for the independent traveler on a budget to make time for a visit to Laos. Prices are low, the food is as delicious as anywhere else in South East Asia, and travelers never have to deal with the crush of tourist throngs. Even in Luang Prabang the country’s number one draw for visitors, there are no lineups to get into any of the many temples.
With fewer than 7 million people, Laos is far less populated than other countries in the region. For this reason most of its forests are still intact and its natural beauty remains abundant.
Ostensibly a Communist country since 1975, the Laotian government has embraced pro-capitalist market reforms since the 1980’s. Once you arrive in the country there are almost no reminders of its recent revolutionary past.