Arriving at Phonsavan airport, the internal immigration checkpoint reminds me that sleepy little Laos is still a one-party state. It goes quickly enough however, and soon I'm charging the wall of touts at baggage claim. I pick a shy-looking guide from the back exactly because he isn't shouting at me. My Phonsavan adventure ... Read more about The Phonsavan adventure .
The Communist forces in Laos were building and the US was threatened by their ties with Vietnam, so it moved in to help protect the royal family from falling. It enlisted the help of the Hmong people, a hilltribe group who lived high in the mountains. It is now widely known that the CIA's 'Air America' air force were used to transport the Hmong people's prime crop: the poppy from which both opium ... Read more about The secret war and UXO .
Despite being off the main tourist trail, Phonsavan is well worth visiting, with its Plain of Jars a particular highlight. Hop on a tour to see the plain, or just grab a motorbike and hit the road. It is totally worth ... Read more about The Plain of Jars .
It details a number of interesting things to do as an alternative to the main tourist attractions. The information sheet includes regular sightseeing activities such as war memorials, lakes and temples, as well as visiting a local mulberry farm. Another sheet is called Explore the Hidden Stories of Plain of Jars and features activities further afield. It's hard to find detailed information on ... Read more about Do-it-yourself activities .
Once the provincial capital of Xieng Khuang, Muang Khoun is little more than a medium-sized village about 30 kilometres down the road to Paksan from Phonsavan. But it’s the quaintness of the town and its varied ruined temples that make this place worth a visit when staying in nearby ... Read more about Muang Khoun .