One thing I’d like to make clear about Laos before I begin; Laos is not as poor, under-developed, or crime-ridden as we imagine. When I announced that I would be taking this trip, the first thing out of peoples mouths were “be careful”. I don’t have people telling me to be careful when I travel for work or leave the house, but I can understand why they’d say this. The unknown can be scary. Fear of the unknown is the oldest form of fear, but as history has shown us, exploration of the unknown leads to amazing discoveries.
That being said, the way of life here is different. There is still much development that needs to be done to the land, but it’s the people who really make this land gold. You’re welcome everywhere you go with a smile. During the new year, people pull you into their parties with a glass of Beer Lao. People were happy that I was a visitor, and were even more than happy to help me understand the language and culture. Family and happiness first, that’s the way of life. Doesn’t sound too scary to me.