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Vieng Xai: Hidden Disco

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

After a quiet night in Sam Neua, where we relished having a proper toilet, a proper shower, with hot water, and a proper bed that didn’t have leeches in it, we caught an early morning tuk-tuk an hour further towards the Vietnamese border to the town of Vieng Xai.

Vieng Xai is tucked away in an almost hidden valley, where it is surrounded by limestone karst mountains. And it was amongst the hundreds of caves that diappear into the depths of these limestone mountains that Laos’ communist party, the Pathet Laos, hid during the nine years of constant American bombing in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Laos, that most beautiful and serene of countries, has the unenviable distinction of being the most bombed country on the planet. During America’s war against communism in the region, fought mostly in Vietnam but also spilling over into Laos and Cambodia, America’s government records show that they dropped on the Laos countryside the equivalent of a plane load of bombs, every eight minutes, twenty-four hours a day, for nine years.

Holy crap balls!

[read on]