Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang

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My stay in Laos triggered a reflexion on directions and boundaries of tourism industry development, the development that caters for more and more spleen-ed and lazy tourists (did I just say tourists? My bad – I mean, travelers… None of the thousands or millions of youngsters scaling the very same banana pancake trail would ever want to be called a tourist) and brings them the most amazing and authentic experience. Laos is a great place to ponder on it as – compared with neighbouring countries – their tourism awesomeness level is very moderate, nevertheless, the Laotians keep trying to somehow sell their resources to the visitors. And how, you might ask? They wrap the same old product, pimping it with the “adventure” and “authenticity”. I put those terms in inverted commas because oftentimes that “adventure” boils down to just laying back and letting the guide (of varying degree of competence) do the job and…