For many adventurous travellers, the allure of an unspoilt and little-explored country is irresistible. The magnificent 'Lost City' of Angkor is undoubtedly one of the most magical tourist attractions in the world and a bucket-list destination for many, drawing hordes of travellers to Cambodia single-handedly.
Modern-day Cambodia is the successor kingdom of the powerful Khmer Empire which ruled most of what is today Vietnam, Laos and Thailand from the 9th to 14th centuries. Although the country does not have the same volume of famous attractions as some of its neighbours, the Cambodian people are incredibly friendly, providing a warm welcome for travellers and authentic glimpses into their culture.
Laos has been known since ancient times as Lan Xang, or Land of the Million Elephants, and offers visitors a glimpse of old Indochina. It is less developed than its neighbours China, Thailand and Vietnam, and traditionally the most reserved, but offers natural beauty and shy hospitality combined with a mix of original Buddhist culture and French influences. It also shares its borders with Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia.
A mountainous, landlocked country, situated at the heart of South East Asia, Laos's lifeline is the Mekong River, which flows the length of the country, providing water for agricultural lands and a major means of transportation. Vientiane, the unassuming capital, is situated on its banks, and the city provides a comfortable introduction to the charms of the country. However, most tourists to Laos will find its most enticing destination is the city of Luang Prabang, the former royal kingdom, with a legacy of splendid golden temples and whitewashed houses. While it might be true that sights and attractions in Laos are few, they are nonetheless extremely special.