Travelers who have visited Asia previously and are looking for something new—or rather, are looking for Southeast Asia as it was 50 years ago—should add Laos to their vacation list.

Unlike other Southeast Asian countries that have embarked on high-energy growth plans, Laos has remained low-key and developed at its own pace in relative isolation. Thus, each year, travel restrictions have decreased and travel-related services increased slowly but surely. Luang Prabang, a pretty, temple-filled city, now has several world-class resorts and luxury properties, as well as a modern airport. The capital, Vientiane, has started to boom because of investment from China and Thailand and has started to build in anticipation of increased tourism.

Most of the country, however, has not yet been seen by visitors since few leave the beaten path. Slowly, though, travelers are starting to discover the stunning scenery (mountain and jungle) in the provinces and the cultural and historical sites. Although modern conveniences and comfort may not be instantly available everywhere, those looking to truly "get away from it all" can go for days without seeing many other travelers. That sort of solitude does not last forever, however, so vacationers wanting that kind of peace and quiet should make travel plans soon.

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