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Laos is a poorer, less-touristy version of Thailand with a touch of Cambodia's tension included. Many villages here almost never see a Caucasion. Yet, people are welcoming, but many are wary. It is a communist country and Mao caps and the hammer and sickle emblem can be seen frequently. Although not officially part of the Vietnam war, war relics are not uncommon. Outside of the major cities, people live on the fruits of their manual labor. This comes most often from growing rice and/or raising pigs and chickens. I enjoyed my time in Laos as much as Thailand and more than Cambodia. I wouldn't hesitate to return. This page has photos of Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Vang Vien, Pakse, the Nam Song River and scenery seen during a mountain trek through many small Laotian villages, including Hoy Khe and Phu Luang Tai. There are also photos of the indigenous people. Larger versions of these photos of Laos can be viewed by using a mouse rollover or by using the Slideshow below. These photos were taken with a Minolta X-700 film camera. The quality of the scanned images is poor.


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photo of Hoy Khe village in Laos
Hoy Khe, Laos
One of the highlights of my trip through Laos was a trek through small mountain villages, including this one Hoy Khe.


Hoy Khe Peppers and Children
This was a very poor village with virtually nothing going for it but barren huts for cover and some (enough?) food to eat.

photo of Phu Luang Tai, Laos
Phu Luang Tai
When I first arrived in Phu Luang Tai children ran alongside, but far off on one side, following from me from hut to hut, and hiding when I looked. They were very wary. I believe they had seen only a few caucasions before me - perhaps none with a white beard like mine.

photo of pigs in Phu Luang Tai, Laos
Phu Luang Tai and Pigs
The isolated mountain village of Phu Luang Tai seemed prosperous in pigs.

photo of a big house in Phu Luang Tai in Laos
Phu Luang Tai House
The houses here were well-constructed, but had nothing more than open space inside with sleeping areas and cooking facilities in that shared space, all on a hard-packed dirt floor. It was in one of these huts that I spent the night.

photo of the mountain setting of Phu Luang Tai
Phu Luang Tai's Mountain Setting
Phu Luang Tai was relatively high in the mountains offering beautiful views around it.

photo of a rice paddy outside of Pakse, Laos
A Rice Paddy Outside Pakse, Laos
I spent time in the moderately-sized Pakse, Laos. I rented a motorbike for about $7/day and explored the neighboring countryside.

photo of some old ruins near wat pho chompassak in laos
Wat Pho Chompassak #5
Not far from Pakse there are some ancient temple ruins that bear a remarkable resemblance to the famous Angkor complex in Cambodia

photo from wat pho chompassak looking down on ancient ruins in laos
Wat Pho Chompassak
This view of ancient ruins in Laos is from the Wat Pho Chompassak"

landscape photo of the Nam Song River in Laos
Nam Song #2
The Nam Song River flows past Vang Vien - a beautiful place in Laos.

landscape photo of the view from the Hotel Nam Song
View From the Nam Song Hotel
Vang Vien, Laos is a beautiful place. The view from the Nam Song Hotel is beautiful, but the hotel is not worth the expense. Other hotels in the area are far cheaper, offer the same view, and have hosts far more appreciative and accomodating.

photo of a buddhist temple in Vientiane, Laos
That Luang In Vientiane
As is the case throughout southeast Asia, the buddhists take immaculate care of their temples.



photo of the That Luang Temple in Vientiane, Laos
That Luang


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All photographs are the property of Robert Stephens and TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery. Unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited by US copyright law.