For the curious traveller, the journey into Laos is a rewarding and fantastic experience. Part of what was known as Indo-China, the collective name for the former French Territories in the region. Whilst Vietnam and Cambodia were prized possessions, Laos was seen more as “buffer” value against invasion. It remains one of the less developed (and least populated) countries in south-east Asia. Laos is a hidden gem, with a less frantic pace than all of its neighbours.
Of all the countries in the region, it is the least openly commercial and interested in western-style consumerism. It has a delightful serene, totally laid back style, with Buddhism dominating every aspect of day to day life.
The Mekong River is one of the most spectacular and fascinating rivers of the world. CHIC Locations now offers a selection of 4 and 6 day River and Exploration experiences offering breath taking scenery and a relaxing way to explore regions and villages in Laos the spirit of adventure. virtually untouched by commercial tourism. The boats, or more aptly described as floating hotels, are authentic “boutique“ style converted rice barges, with a maximum of 32 passengers, comfortable with modern amenities but fully capturing the mood and charm of the destination.
The Mekong and Luang Prabang Gibbon Experience tour is wonderful, but totally authentic travel adventure. You will need to be reasonably fit, and certainly able to walk distances in sometimes difficult terrain. With the exception of the accommodation in Luang Prabang, which is both elegant and luxurious, the remainder is extremely simple, with the emphasis on a truly remarkable and genuine travel event. You will need to be comfortable with the realities of jungle life and find the sight on insects and reptiles fascinating, rather than life threatening!
The Mekong is the artery of life in Laos. the main trading route, a source of food and a social centre with numerous small settlements. On the cruise you pass ancient Buddhist temples and all the activity that contributes towards the economy of the country, including farming, fishing, of course, teak logging and rather unique distillation with the production of the lethal Lao Lao 50% proof whisky.