The Last Gasp of Resistance

Photo: General Vang Pao c. 1960 Today, the streets of Vientiane and Luang Prabang are alive with cafes and shops that hark back to the days when Laos was a stop on the so-called hippie trail. The landlocked country, still a mysterious destination for westerners, is teaming with tourists drawn by a combination of inexpensive travel and exotic culture. Expanding by almost 30 percent a year, Laos now draws more than a million visitors annually. The easygoing ambience that attracted tourists decades ago has returned.

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