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Laos - last impressions


We’ve just crossed Vietnamese border, leaving Laos behind. Leaving the country took us few days and was not particularly easy. Despite previous experience we tried to hitchhike 800 km between Luang Prabang and Hanoi, but already after first day we realized it won’t work. There is almost no cars on the road, and even if somebody stop usually she/he is going no more than 20 km ahead and often wants money for giving a ride. Generally it seems that Laos people has quite specific attitude toward money. On one hand work is not so important value for them, they rather tend to avoid it, which could mean that also money itself is not so crucial.

On the other hand when we speak about tourists, suddenly it seems that only money are important. Sometimes I had feeling that for them we are only the source of money, to which they don’t have to be even particularly nice, what was quite surprising after Thailand, where people were really kind, they wanted to help you and get to know you. In Laos being kind doesn’t seem to be important. Of course, there are some exceptions! The biggest number of good things happen to us around Ponsavan. Not only on the Mulberries farm, but also in the city itself and around. It was the only place to which, and from which, we managed to go by hitchhiking. Or in which somebody invited us to her home so we don’t eat lunch on the street. There are more examples, but almost all from the same place. Outside Ponsavan also some good things happened to us, but mostly thanks to foreigners. Surprisingly the most open city was Luang Prabang, which is the most touristic spot in the country. But people, especially monks, wanted to talk, mostly for practicing English but still there were interested in something more than your money. Most of other cases can be perfectly described by sentence of one Lao person: if you don’t have money why you come to Laos? Always with the same aim – to look for changemakers and write down their stories. Fortunately also in Laos there are some. Soon we write about them, for now we greet you from Vietnam!

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