Lao travel stories

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  • Free the Bears Laos

    Free the Bears Laos

    When five-month old Kobe arrived at the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre, he was traumatised. His mother had been shot and killed by hunters. Kobe had been caught, noosed, bound tightly by all four legs, tied to a length of bamboo and carried through the jungle. He endured being carried around this way for three days as Forest Rangers pursued the hunters. Eventually he was abandoned and found by the Rangers, then saved by Free the Bears.

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  • COPE: Helping people move on

    COPE: Helping people move on

    Between 1964 and 1973 the US army dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos, earning the country the dubious distinction of being the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise -- COPE --  is a non-profit based in Vientiane that runs rehabilitation centres aiming to provide access to orthotic and prosthetic devices and a range of other services for the victims of the remains of these weapons.

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  • Luang Prabang Film Fest & Gabriel Kuperman

    Luang Prabang Film Fest & Gabriel Kuperman

    Luang Prabang has no working cinema but that didn't deter Gabriel Kuperman from becoming the founder and director of the first-ever Luang Prabang Film Festival in December 2010. The festival of Southeast Asian films was a big hit with tourists and locals alike and is set to run again in 2011. We speak to Gabriel about the struggle to bring films from around the region to Luang Prabang, how Lao teens got involved, his amazement at the turnout and his hope to show Lao sub-titled films at this year's event.

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  • Tubing in Vang Vieng

    Tubing in Vang Vieng

    Like a SE Asian Goa, Vang Vieng offers the constant debauchery that marks any infamous destination on the now well-worn backpacker/hippie/party-people trail. It just doesn't have a beach, nor, frankly, does it even need one. The famed attraction has become, incorrectly but perhaps appropriately, immortalized on t-shirts and tank tops as: "Tubing In The Vang Vieng Laos."

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  • Phonsavan and Luang Prabang

    Phonsavan and Luang Prabang

    The laid-back charm of Laos is present wherever you travel in the country, but tourism has certainly developed at dramatically different rates. Both the Plain of Jars and Luang Prabang are internationally known historical sites, the key difference between the two is that the latter is a well-established World Heritage site, while the former is an unsolved archeological mystery scattered throughout several rural fields. Traveling by bicycle these two stops on the tourist trail fall within a few days travel of each other, but their differences could not be more apparent.

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  • Crossing the Cambodia Laos border

    Crossing the Cambodia Laos border

    Of all the border crossings in the region, the overland crossing between Cambodia and Laos has been one of the most changeable. In some ways, Dom Kralor has all the ingredients of a pain in the posterior crossing -- corrupt border officials, inconsistent travel advice and of course wildly varying traveller tales. Read on to find out the best way to cross this ever-changing border.

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