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Published: November 20th 2010
Banana plants with huge leaves grew by the roadside and were covered in a coating of red dust, Trees were covered in red dust. scantily clad children playing in the red dust, old ladies sitting patiently on the doorstep of their rickity wooden shack watching the world pass by, surrounded in red dust. This is the real Laos, it's a world away from life we westerners are used to. As we snaked around the mountains on our bus heading south to the capital, Vientiane, we watched men and women of all ages toiling in the fields, using primitive farming methods to harvest the grain. All wearing sampan hats to protect them from the searing hot sun.
Wooden shacks were perched precariously along the edge of the 'highway' only partly on solid ground, at least half of the shack overhanging the steep hillside supported on stilts.
Cattle with their calves and goats with their kids grazed on the sparce grass by the roadside, occasionally wandering aimlessly into the path of the bus. Hens and roosters scatter at the sound of the on-coming bus wheels.
Man and beast living in harmony in this laid back land where time has no
All too soon we were back in the city being told "sorry, all rooms are full". We eventually found one and then headed to the banks of the Mekong River for cooler air. Worshippers laid offerings at the foot of the king's Statue and children crammed their mouths with fried grasshoppers at 1,000 kip a bag much like children back home would clamour for penny sweets.
Tomorrow we take the night train to Bangkok.
We would love to have comments and messages from back home - just to keep in touch with reality.
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