Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler takes a four-hour drive along a treacherous mountain road in central Laos on his way to the Luang Nam Tha National Park. Visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/laos for more information about Laos. Video Rating: / 5
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Laos, officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia. A mountainous and landlocked country, Laos shares borders with Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west, and Myanmar and China to the north.
See in Laos
The key attraction of Laos is its undoubted status as the least Westernised, the most relaxed and thereby the most authentic of all Indochinese nations. How much longer this will last is open to much speculation, but while it does this is a truly special and unique country to visit. This latest of Laos tourism videos, sanctioned by the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism, will give you a glimpse of Laos. Their official slogan is: Laos, Simply Beautiful:
The term wilderness is much misused, but it can truly be applied to much of Laos. The mighty Mekong river and its tributaries together create perhaps the single most important geographic feature of the country. Its meandering path in the North has created some of the most stunning limestone karsts anywhere on earth. The backpacker-central town of Vang Vieng is a commonly used base for exploring the karsts. Further north, the terrain becomes more hilly, and the jungle less explored. Luang Namtha is the far-northern town which makes the best base for those visitors who really want to see the truly remote Lao wilderness, and directly experience the lifestyles of the various hill tribes in this region.
In direct contrast to Northern Laos, the Mekong delta lowlands in the South are perfectly flat. Si Phan Don (four thousand islands) is a great base for experiencing what is surely the most chilled and relaxed region anywhere in Asia. Experiencing local village life, taking it all in and doing absolutely nothing should be the aim here. There are though some wonderful river-based sights, including the largest falls anywhere in Southeast Asia. If you are lucky you might get a close-up view of a Mekong pink dolphin.
In this most Buddhist of nations, it is no surprise that temples are a key attraction. In the capital city of Vientiane, the three-layered gilded stupa of Pha That Luang is the national symbol and most important religious monument in the country, dating from the 16th century. There are numerous other beautiful temples which on their own make a stay in the capital city vital for any visitor to Laos.
The whole of the ancient capital of Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Befitting that status, this is a truly unique city. Beautifully preserved gilded temples with their attendant orange-robed monks mold almost seamlessly with traditional wooden Lao houses and grand properties from the French colonial era. Spotlessly clean streets with a thriving café culture on the banks of the Mekong and the Nam Khan, complete the picture of a city which is almost too pleasant to be true.
The Plain of Jars is a megalithic archaeological landscape dating from the Iron Age. Thousands of stone jars are scattered over a large area of the low foothills near Phonsavan. The main archaeological theory is that the jars formed part of Iron Age burial rituals in the area, but this is by no means proven, and a great deal of mystery remains. The area suffered tragic damage from American bombing during the secret war of the 1960s, and many unexploded bombs remain. When that process is complete it is very likely this will be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Wat Phu is a ruined Hindu Khmer temple complex in Champasak province. It dates from the 12th century and visitors who have been to Angkor Wat will notice the similarities.
The town of Vieng Xai provides a striking insight in the recent history of not only Laos, but the whole of Indochina. In 1964, the US began intensive bombing of the Lao communist movement – Pathet Lao – bases in Xieng Khouang. Under much bombardment, the Pathet Lao moved east to Vieng Xai and established their headquarters in the limestone karst cave networks around the town. A whole ‘Hidden City’ was established which supported around 20,000 people. During nine years of almost constant American bombing, the Pathet Lao sheltered in these caves, and lived in a largely subterranean environment. Schools, hospitals, and markets as well as government ministries, a radio station, a theatre and military barracks were all hidden in the caves. After the 1973 ceasefire, Vieng Xai briefly became the capital of Laos, before that function was moved to Vientiane in 1975. There are formal daily tours of the caves. Video Rating: / 5
Simon Reeve (born 1972) is a British author, adventurer and TV presenter. Based in London, he makes travel documentaries in little-known areas of the world and has written books on international terrorism, modern history and about his adventures. Reeve has been around the world three times for the BBC television series Tropic of Cancer, Equator, and Tropic of Capricorn, and has travelled extensively in more than 90 countries, including troubled states in Africa, the Caucasus, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Far East and Central Asia. Reeve is the New York Times bestselling author of The New Jackals (1998), One Day in September (2000) and Tropic of Capricorn (2007). He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award for an “outstanding contribution to greater world understanding.
see here :http://www.shootandscribble.com/sr/1.html Video Rating: / 5
Our honeymoon to Southeast Asia started in the town of Luang Prabang which is located in the mountain regions of Northern Laos. Luang Prabang is a peaceful, quiet town nestled in between the Mekong River and Nam Khan River. It is also a World Heritage site, hosting some of the areas oldest Buddhist temples and is know for it’s large population of monks. We also found really good shopping and nice, western-style accommodations there. Of course the real treat of traveling to Laos is the wonderful people, who will go out of their way to offer help and be friendly. All media captured by myself and Bev on November 26, 2006. Audio track is “Aqueous Transmission” by Incubus. Video Rating: / 5
Travelling for 2 months through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Luckily I met some fantastic people on the way to keep me company. Video Rating: / 5
Vientiane’s That Luang ( Travelling Place) in Laos
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