An Ode to Laos

The highway from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng is a dusty dirt road. All the people I’ve talked to say it requires more courage than a human heart can have to brave those roads. I found only beauty in it. Clouds are like a river that spreads its tributaries through the green peaks of Laos. The sun is a gold hue that teases the soul.

Vang Vieng too is said to be an ugly town. But when you hurtle away to the countryside, you find instead an unparalleled beauty in undeveloped poverty.

People tell me not to die in Laos. No, I haven’t felt more alive here.

I’ve met with backpackers from over 20 countries (more than I have in my life), with promises to meet again either in Singapore when they come over or in wherever place there is in this world. Its a culture founded upon our common ennui and love for the world (as well as a hatred for Chinese tourists).

But for all the romanticised wistfulness of being away, my watch and phone is still on Singapore time. I had never actually left home.

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