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Laos: a smiling welcome
19 February 2008 Hervé Bonnaveira

Since getting into Laos we are under the spell of this country where everyone seems to be smiling. It all started in Vientiane with the exceptional hospitality of Vincent, a maths teacher at the French school there, followed by the enthusiasm of other teachers and their pupils in four different classes which we presented our project to. We were then pleasantly surprised on the road to Luang Prabang, reputed dangerous due to Hmong rebels who attacked buses and killed passengers five years ago. Our experience was very different - nothing but people waving hello, children shouting with joy when seeing us cycle past, and sublime views. Why are these people so welcoming despite their poverty and the economic hardship of their country? Is it because nature is so generous here and that people don’t know the stress of the big city? The Laos countryside we are cycling through brings up some interesting questions to do with sustainable development and quality of life.

JPEG - 85.8 kb
How do you say hello in Laos? "Sabay-deeeee!"

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