We stayed in Lao for about 4 weeks and we traveled the country from north to south. We toured the Mekong by boat, we trekked in the jungle in the far north, we enjoyed the tranquil rhythms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, we tried the best coffee in the Bolaven plateau, and we relaxed with a beerlao watching the sun set in the 4000 islands, all to discover the wonderful character of the Laotians. Funny that we didn’t get to see any elephants when Lao’s nick name is “the land of a million elephants” and elephants are present in 90% of the souvenirs that can be bought in any of the many markets.
Although Lao being within the poorest countries in the world, we didn’t get hit by the extreme poverty that we found in India and Nepal – people living on the streets, beggars everywhere… Moreover, and surprisingly, we didn’t get to see extreme contrasts between rich and poor. It feels like, unlike India, the poorness is equally distributed across most of the country.