Laos is a small country that borders Thailand and Cambodia. It's further off the beaten track for those who want a new adventure, but not so far off as to be intimidating. The country is mainly rural with 90% of its geography covered with tropical rainforest, which means it's an excellent country for nature lovers. Lao people mix animist traditions with Buddhism. Spirit houses are dotted around at temples and in front of businesses to appease land spirits.
The difficulty of traveling within Laos compared to its neighboring Thailand, and Vietnam can put tourists off visiting. Sometimes the slow pace of its transportation makes journeying through Laos feel like an adventure.
Due to the steep hillsides and poor roads frequently blocked by landslides, the best ways to travel around Laos is along the Mekong River. This is how most locals get around. Most boats are slow moving, but there is a fast boat from Huay Xai on the Thai border to Luang Prabang which takes 7 hours. However, the slower option is a more delightful experience watching the ever-changing view of the Mekong. The slower boat can take up to 40 hours so the best option is to divide trip up by stopping at Pakbeng Village for a night, where you can sample the local delicacies like a Pakbeng sandwich.
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