Sitting in a makeshift café, waiting for our bus driver to come back from the border post with our passports before leaving Laos, a tap on the shoulder and look who I see again: Ariel. We had parted ways more than 2 months ago in Thailand. He had been telling me back then about the last blank page available in his American passport, and the possibility of not being allowed to travel as a result. His passport had since been stolen, and now he was free again to travel for as long as he liked with a brand new passport.
The world of travellers in that triangle of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia is very small. The journey is almost the same, we cross paths again and again.
But I am still amazed at the day when I opened my Facebook account to see Maya, who had hosted me in Bulgaria in 2010, and Amélie, a French girl I met in 2012 in Australia, in the same photo travelling together in Thailand.
Passport returned, onwards to Cambodia.
- Laotian New Year isn’t just another slightly underwhelming single night affair, it’s a three-day long festival of awesome that runs from the 13 to 15 April. Ie three times the fun. And no post-Christmas food-baby related trauma. Good.
- Laos has been named the world’s most bombed country. Over two billion tons of bombs (ie more than all of the bombs dropped on Europe during World War II) were dropped in Laos by the USA during the Vietnam War.
- Most meals in Laos are based on sticky rice. The locals roll it into balls in the palm of their hand and then dip it in delicious sauces. This more or less means you can play with your food in public.
- Laos is home to the best coffee is South East Asia. In fact, coffee is its biggest export. The fact that they serve it with condensed milk takes it to a whole new level of sweet-trippin’-caffeine-shaky goodness.
- Beer Laos is one of Laos’ most internationally renowned exports. It also happens to be extremely cheap. One could even say dangerously cheap… A sneaky cold one will set you back just one measly buck.
- Laos is the second biggest solar energy consumer in the world after Luxemborg.
- Buddhism has made Laotians among the most laid back people around. Fact.
- The oldest modern human fossil in the world was found in a cave in North Laos. Word on the street suggests it’s 46 000 years old. Defs past his prime.
- Apparently Laos is the third largest illicit producers of opium in the world. So there you go.
- Laos is home to the Khone Papeng, South East Asia’s largest waterfall.