hey folks im being a bit put off about travelleing to laos as ive heard theres been some murders through recent years when people have been ambushed travelling on route 13 by bandits and i dont really want to fly in laos as ive heard they dont search your luggage!i really wanna see vientiane,vang vieng and luang prabang as its supposed to be beautiful but not if its risky,we've allocated a week to 10 days for the journey,any advice please!
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 21, 2007, at 8:19 AM by dar egan ]
i was also a little concerned before i travelled along route 13 last year as i had heard similar stories. in the end i felt perfectly safe and did not see any trouble; however, i believe there was some trouble in Feb 2007 involving the government and rebels. i don't think any of the violence is ever directed towards tourists so you would be unlucky to get caught up in it but have a look at what the british foreign office says about travel to laos. they don't advise against travel to Laos but do advise being vigilant on route 13.
hope this helps.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 21, 2007, at 9:56 AM by bex76 ]
PS - 10 days should be fine to do Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Vientiane, and yes its beautiful, particularly the stretch of route 13 between LP and VV.
I was recently in Laos for about 5 weeks,( including Feb ).
For what it's worth, I never once had any concern at all over safety. I did see a few locals with guns on the bus routes between VangVieng and Phonsovan and from there to Luang Prabang, which in fact was totally incongruous with all my other exeriences in the country that I took notice- but I actually was never really scared. The people are among the most friendly in SE Asia and the country is beautiful- not only the Ventiene-VV-LP route you are talking, but the south around Don Det, and the north- for great trekking near Luang Namtha, as well as incredible scenery up aroung Muang Ngoy..
Bottom line- I would not be too worried- like anywhere in the world, there is always a chance for something to happen, but frankly I wouldn't consider laos any more dangerous than anywhere else in SE asia- and you would miss a great experience if you skip it.... My tme there was honestly a highlight of my trip.... Hell I'd consider living in Luang Prabang... ( well .. maybe that's an exaggeration....)
I'm currently in Laos and did travel the same route a few days ago and I hadn't encounter any problem.
Like CanadaGuy said, Lao people are very nice and I feel really safe here.
I'm sure you will enjoy this country which has some of the most beautiful landscapes I've seen in SEA.
The news of bandit happened in Laos long long long.... time ago and I would say it happened only one time.
Everyone is safe travelling in Laos.
Lao people are very friendly and ready to help you.
Don't believe too much the media on the internet. Because there are some groups that don't like Lao government
and they just post the fake stories on the website.
Welcome everyone to Laos