Maybe it’s the way “Sabaidee” forces the corners of your mouth open in a smile, but something about Laos left even me constantly smiling.
I love Laos. Absolutely love it.
The people are spectacular. I didn’t think any person could just be genuinely nice just because that’s the way they are, let alone a whole country of people. But Lao people are genuinely nice, happy people. They don’t pester you to buy things, they don’t bother you, but if you have a question or something you need you will always get a smile and an answer (it might not be in English but it will be a response). Generally speaking, they are a shy and quiet people, who live modest lives.
There is not an ounce of stress in the atmosphere. It may not be the most convenient country to get around or get things you need in comparison to its neighbors which are bigger tourist destinations, but no one ever frets that things will work out in due time. Someone told me that this is because Buddhists believe in the next lifetime, so to them they have all the time in the world to get things done, if it doesn’t happen now, there is always time in the next life.
This applies to traffic, it is not life threatening like the rest of Asia, as well as walking down the sidewalk to wherever you are going or queuing in lines, the only ones who push and shove are the Chinese tourists. From what I saw of village life after morning chores, the rest of the day was dedicated to just hanging out.
There is generally an 11:30 curfew in every major city, so that means all businesses are closed by that time. Early to bed, early to rise. So people wake up early and take their time with breakfast (my favorite part of the day). It made you feel like you should be sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and eating banana pancakes all day with a good book.
It’s french influenced culture and appearance makes it very picturesque.
Lao men are quite handsome! It’s too bad I didn’t see one that was more than five feet tall.
The food is AWESOME! AND very vegetarian friendly.
Things were fairly priced, it is extremely safe, and enough tourism infrastructure is in place that you will have most information available but there are still unknown places to explore. It is a bit touristy in the major cities, but not completely overrun by backpackers. BUT I do see that coming soon in the near future. So go now!
And the number one reason I love Laos……
The landscape. From north to south I saw; rice patties, farmland, tropical jungle, bamboo forest, evergreen forest, limestone Krasts, caves, rivers, lakes, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, rapids, plains,and islands. And with all these different landscapes, comes many different activities, tubing, trekking, kayaking, climbing, rafting, caving, swimming, cycling, there is something for everyone.