One Foot In Laos
Nestled between Vietnam to the east, Myanmar and China to the north, Thailand to the west and Cambodia to the south, Laos has long suffered from the depredations of its larger neighbors. But the biggest bully in its history was the United States which, starting in 1964, carried on a "secret war" against Laos. By the time of the ceasefire in February 1973, Laos had become the most heavily bombed nation in the history of the world. When renowned travel writer Dervla Murphy went to Laos in 1997, she discovered a country that had only just opened its borders to the West. What she found was a country where the people-kind, gentle, welcoming-more than compensate for everything that can go wrong. But she also discovered that the persisting problems bequeathed by its recent past are tragic and other problems threaten its immediate future. A series of chance meetings left her with a profound sense of a beautiful country and a unique culture threatened-once again-by the extreme pressures of the modern world.
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