The rebuilt capital of The Peoples Republic of Laos is Vientiane, which has a kegacy from French colonialism which ended in 1954, to be replaced by U.S. forces to counter the Phatet Lao. Laos was severely damaged by a U.S. bombing campaign an average of one B-52 bombload every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, between 1964 and 1973. US bombers dropped more ordnance on Laos in this period than was dropped during the whole of the Second World War. It has the dubious distinction of being the “most bombed country, per capita, in the world”, cluster bombs are still a particular problem.  There is little infrastructure which add to the appeal of (mainly) exclusive French resorts being established along the Mekong River. My short stay in Vientiane was not long enough to appreciate Loas, which struggles with the demands of the new generations for development.

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