I'm going to Laos in November, more or less on a whim.
Originally we were booked in to go to the Writers' Festival in Ubud, but after the bombings in Jakarta I'm afraid I rather lost heart, and so to Laos it is.
Why Laos? Well, I've never been there. I've wanted to go for at least 15 years, and indeed, on several occasions I have planned to go, but something has always stopped me. But now I am certain, the tickets are booked, and I am leafing through my ancient copy of Spoken Lao In 16 Lessons.
I'm not certain how we'll get there though. I have a rather romantic notion of sailing up to Luang Prabang on a boat from the Thai border, but the details of this are still a little sketchy. Doesn't it sound fabulous though?
I have been fascinated with Laos for many years. It is such a forgotten little corner of the world, and I think I have read almost every book ever written on it (which is not much of a boast). I happen to live in a section of Sydney that boasts a large number of Laotian migrants, and regularly visit Lao restaurants. I also have contacts at the Lao temples dotted about the district.
What's not to love about Laos? The beautiful people, the delicious food, the exquisite religion....I'm already there in my head.
Anyone who has been to Laos, please contact me - I want some tips and pointers.