Although a Malaysian,I can answer conservation,environment,cultural and travel-related questions directed toward experiencing the arts, heritage and special character of this land-locked country. Well, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia as well. I cannot,or rather, will not answer questions on politics and religion.
I have travelled extensively throughout Laos several times, often backpacking and in the course of my work as a conservation/environment writer which provided me the opportunity to interact with hill tribes, like the Khmu, Akha, Hmong, Yao, Mien, to name a few and understand their lifestyle, traditions and beliefs.I have been as far as Luang Namtha (north),Xam Neua (east),Veun Kham (south) and Savannakhet (west).So I can tell you how to travel cheap other otherwise to these areas.
National Press Club of Malaysia, World Mountain Forum, Worldwide Fund for Nature, Malaysian Nature Society, MekongInfo Group.
Local newspapers & journals, such as New Straits Times, the Leaf, and UNDP journal on tropical peat swamp forest conservation ( public awareness raising strategies).
I completed tertiary education, and opted subsequently for a career in journalism (30 years), and then joined UNDP as media consultant for its peat swamp forest conservation project, based in Malaysia.
Marriot International Golden Circle Award 2001 ( Hospitality ); was also vice chairman of Johor Tourism Guides Association; honorary secretary National Press Club of Malaysia
While too numerous to mention, I would like to add that effective Dec 1, I would be joining the editorial board of NAM News Network with the job to oversee reports/articles on conservation, environment, tourism and cultures of 118 NAM member countries.The website:www.namnewsnetwork.org ( based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia )
Laos has a lot to offer to the discerning traveller or visitor who is interested in raw beauty - cloud clad mountains, the diverse ethnic tribes, pristine rivers all of which add up to ecotourism potential.
It will be interesting to know how the community-based participatory development programmes inspired by local NGOs (namely those related to ecotourism)will bring about a change in the mindset of tribes living well below poverty level.
Lao problems must be solved the Lao way.Outsiders may not be aware that this country faces the risk of being "swallowed" up by neigbouring economic powerhouses, like China, Thailand & Vietnam!
Culture which is very much a part of eco-tourism, is being diluted with influx of mass tourism.
|doyice cotten||02/15/10||10||10||10||Very helpful.|