CULTURE & HISTORY

Culture & History

Laos, with less than 7 million inhabitants is one of South East Asia’s least populated and lesser known countries. From the mid 1970’s to the mid 90’s, Laos was fairly isolated and little visited. With the change of political orientation, the country gradually opens up to the world, sees its economic situation improving steadily and with more media exposure counts more visitors.

 

From visits to Buddhist temples to spending an overnight with ethnic minority people passing by craftsmen’s villages, enjoying a meal in a Lao family, attending a social event or contributing to a charity/development project, we arrange it all.

 

For those travelers who would like to expand their horizons and immerse themselves in the culture of this country, make up your mind on your duration of travel and what you really want to see. Laos is a country the size of Great Britain and stretches close to 2,000 km in length. And with waterways as communication system combined to road infrastructure that can be sometimes in poor conditions for the most remote ones, Laos is a country n which we do not talk “distances” but rather “duration”.

 

While Vientiane (the capital) and Luang Prabang attract the biggest numbers of visitors (partly because they are well connected to regional major cities by airplane and/or overland), the rest of Laos does not lack of interest.

 

Laos is made up of close to 60 different ethnic groups living scattered around the country, along the river ways, in altitude or in the plains. With that many ethnic groups, Laos is rich in diversity and while it is possible to have a glimpse at some of the most represented ones like the Akha, Kamu or Hmong people closer to the major tourist spots like Luang Prabang or Vientiane, the others tend to live in less populated regions. And you have to be ready to enter worlds where standards are one step down from what you experience in Luang Prabang or Vientiane, but these will be rewarding moments.

 

At Laos Mood Travel we understand that beyond exploring the culture of minority people, you might also be interested in discovering in more depth what the Lao culture of today and tomorrow is and will be like. A good example of this is a visit to the capital. Do not listen to the guide books that tell that Vientiane is of little interest! Of course, if you prefer sticking to the handful of “must-do” temples and sites, then, it is up to you. We are ready to point you out some of the traits of the changing Lao culture with its youth, hip places, markets, shops, little hidden secrets that come alive at night time, the favorite spots of the expat communities, the Lao middle classes, the students, businessmen, etc.

 

Lao people are friendly, approachable (though might appear a bit shy at first glance, especially in the countryside), and yet not perverted by tourism. You will hardly feel like a “walking dollar” and we will ensure that your time visiting Laos will remain a genuine experience. With memorable encounters that only Laos Mood Travel selfishly keeps the secrets. Putting a program together is complex and we work hard to schedule the best sites at the best time. You can be assured you will make the most of your time feeling like a guest and not a client.

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