By the time I reach Laos, I’ve spent a total of 46 hours on buses and trains since I left Hong Kong a week ago. I had planned to see some of the country but didn’t factor in being completely burnt out so I stay a few days at my first stop, the town of Luang Lampha a few hours from the Chinese border. I wouldn’t care if it was the most interesting place on the planet, nothing beats the thought of relaxing in my hotel room with wifi; it’s needed to regain some energy for further travel to North Thailand. Luang Lampha is a typical sleepy Lao town but I manage to shift myself on my third day and rent a scooter to see some of the surrounding countryside.
Laotians appear a very indifferent, laid back people, which is great because my current mood matches their apparent indifference. Like their neighbours they’ve had a tough recent history. It’s the most bombed country in the world per capita due to American barbarism during the war on Vietnam. Its still littered with unexploded ordinance; there are an astounding 80 million unexploded cluster bombs (for an excellent, recent blog post on this, see my friends informative piece on Laos).
I take the direct route to another town on the Thai border. I’m keen to get to a place where I can settle for a couple of weeks so unfortunately that means spending as little time in Laos as possible. I’ve hit the South East Asian backpacker circuit so the situation won’t improve until I’ve stopped moving for a while and get my body, soul and mind rested. I only glimpse the North West corner of the country but don’t really have any desire to see any more; my time in Asia is nearly up.