The Faces of Laos

In a country with beautiful scenery and a deep spiritual culture, it was the people I met along the way that I remember most. Let these Laos photos inspire you to add this Southeast Asian country to your travel bucket list.

Some of the photos in this post were recognized with awards in the 2023 North America Travel Journalists Association Excellence in Travel Journalism competition. The feature photo for this story received a Bronze award in the Cover or Feature Photo Illustration category

Laos is still one of those off-the-beaten-path countries that requires some effort to get to and even more effort to tour. As a result, I found it pleasantly uncrowded and surprisingly authentic.

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The Boats Are Back In Town – The Triumphant Return of Pandaw River Cruises

Discover why Pandaw river cruises in Southeast Asia are a one of a kind experience that keeps bringing customers back to sail with this very special cruise company.

I was sipping my Pink Lady cocktail and enjoying the brilliant orange sunset across the Mekong river over the city of Vientiane, Laos’ capital. It was the last evening of my Laos Pandaw river cruise and the day had been very hot, but now a gentle breeze was slowly cooling off the open top deck lounge.

A dragon boat sped by in the evening twilight, its crew chanting loudly as they oared in perfect unison, dipping their many paddles into the water in synchronous time to their chanting beat. Not far from our docked vessel, a local fisherman squatted on the tip of his longtail boat, checking his nets. I marveled at the ease with which he maintained his balance as he twisted and twirled on his boat’s narrow tip, his gyrations worthy of an Olympic balance beam routine.

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