Morning breaks on the Mekong

Slow Boat Home to Luang Prabang

At the foot of Lasagongma Mountain, 5224 metres above sea level, the Mekong takes its first icy breaths. Under Tibet’s cobalt skies, it tumbles toward [...]


Luang Say Lodge, Pakbeng

A review of Luang Say Lodge, high-end accommodation in Pakbeng, Laos, halfway between Huay Xai and Luang Prabang on the Mekong River.

The Luang Say Residence's swimming pool

The Luang Say Residence, Luang Prabang

Set within a subtropical garden of palms, ruby red flowers and trees that burst with ripe bananas, Luang Say Residence and its elegant architecture bring [...]

Salakaewkoo Sculpture Park

Nong Khai’s exceptional sculpture park

Nong Khai is a place most people pass through briskly, on their way from Thailand into Laos. It is  modestly-sized, but the town’s infrastructure makes [...]

Ban Houy Fai, with Houy Fai Peak in the background

Hike to Houy Fai Peak

A travel story about a trek in rural Laos, near Luang Prabang, and the fine line that divides tourism from voyeurism.

Fishermen float by on an green jade Nam Khan

Paying Homage to Henri Mouhot

When Henri Mouhot travelled to Luang Prabang, he was the first white man to enter Laos in 25 years. He died beside the Nam Khan, where a tomb stands as a testament to his journey and his journals, “scribbled generally by the light of a torch, and on my knees at the foot of a tree.”

The Mekong reflects dusk's eerie light

Luang Prabang: The Elements of Heritage

Luang Prabang is a riddle that photographs can solve. It is a town popular with tourists and a World Heritage site, but it rarely feels [...]

A room at Vang Thong Hotel, Luang Prabang

Vang Thong Hotel, Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang is Laos’ proverbial treasure chest, encircled by two rivers and lush green scenery, with a sprinkling of golden temples that gleam in the [...]

Reclining Buddha at Blue Lagoon cave in Vang Vieng, Laos

An Alternative to Tubing in Vang Vieng

Claire and I went to Vang Vieng to laze in a grove of Edenic green. It was a picture-perfect fantasy, conjured up by a postcard [...]

Swings over the 'Blue Lagoon' in Vang Vieng, Laos

Land of the Banana Pancake Eaters

A jaded view of tubing along the Nam Song River in Vang Vieng, Laos, and other bad backpacker behaviour on the Banana Pancake Trail.

Jonnee Green menthol cigarettes, made by the China-Laos Good Luck Tobacco Company

Off the Record in Vientiane

A man I met in Vientiane, who spoke eloquently about the city and how it had changed, initially gave short, guarded answers to my questions. [...]

The new Fude Temple in Vientiane

The Chinese of Vientiane

A portrait of the Chinese immigrants transforming Laos’ sleepy capital.

Dining car on the night train from Bangkok to the Laos border

Night Train to Nong Khai

A night train from Bangkok to Nong Khai, on the border of Laos, is an opportunity to indulge in fantasies of the East.

Pathoumphone Guesthouse, Luang Prabang

French doors onto the river Pathoumphone Guesthouse is away from the epicentre of Luang Prabang’s tourist strip, on a peaceful riverside street, lined with cafés [...]

Syri I Guesthouse, Vientiane

Three years later, and it’s home An elegant old bedroom, huge mugs of local coffee, a balcony with chilled beers and Vientiane’s Old World charm [...]