Bangkok Yai, Thailand
Ban Sithan Nua, Laos
Follow the Mekong River and uncover the secrets of Laos. From the bustle of Bangkok, we find a quieter South East Asia in the north of Thailand and an even more tranquil one still when we cross into Laos. Saffron-cloaked monks on alms rounds in the streets of Luang Prabang reminds one of traditions that have gone on unchanged for centuries. The regal temples, with spires pointing towards the heavens, extols the glories of Theravada Buddhism. The mysterious Plain of Jars exemplifies the remoteness of some of Laos' key attractions. Meanwhile the Mekong River threads its way through the counry, supporting communities that include its laid-back capital, Vientiane, which still maintains an ambiance that borrows from both ancient Lao traditions and colonial French influences.