Why Stay Another Day in Laos?Posted on Sep 02 in Laos, Why Stay Another Day?by ShelynPrint
Laos is a country rich in culture and beauty. Many travelers find the tranquility and spirituality of Laos among the highlights of a visit to Southeast Asia. Beautiful temples, stunning scenery and treks through the forest are all lovely memories to take home, along with unique and attractive crafts, but Laos has much more to offer. It is also a country of centuries-old culture confronting the challenges of modernization – an aspect which few visitors take the time to explore.
Vientiane, chosen as the capital after Laos was established as a French protectorate in the late 19th century. Vientiane, pronounced “Wieng Chan” and meaning “Sandalwood City”, is still the capital of Laos today. Situated on a bend in the Mekong River, Vientiane is the country’s hub for travel to the rest of the country and an important junction trade and commerce. While it is the busiest, most bustling city in Laos, with less than 450,000 residents it is also possibly the most laidback capital in Asia – almost like an overgrown village.
Tourism has grown rapidly in recent years and is a source of both pride and employment for many Lao people. However, the increasing numbers of visitors can also have negative environmental and social consequences and typically these impact upon the poorest of people. The International Finance Corporation’s Mekong Private Sector Development Facility is working in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam to promote the development of sustainable or ‘destination friendly’ tourism. This is tourism that is commercially viable, and at the same time creates broader benefits for society and supports conversation of the natural, historic and cultural assets on which tourism depends.
By visiting Laos, we can actually find a lot of opportunities to contribute in some way to improving the welfare of local people. For example, wilderness tours run by local guides can bring incomes to many rural people who usually lack such opportunities. Patronizing centuries-old arts and crafts provides a living for local people and their extended families, and also helps preserve traditions for future generations.
So during your visit to Laos, stay a little longer, buy local products. Not only will you have an even more memorable experience, but you will also ensure that tourism is benefiting a much wider range of people.
Visit www.stay-another-day.org to see what’s available in other countries.
Source: Why Stay Another Day?