Laos & Vietnam

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Many organizations say that riding on the back of an elephant is the best method of nature travel because it allows humans to see the sights with relatively little disruption to the natural environment.

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Whether visitors want to try the spicy sweet specialties of the region or experience fine French dining, Luang Prabang offers quality cuisine for many different taste buds.

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The Mekong River is a perfect place to sail at sunset and unwind after a long day. But for the Lao, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai communities that surround it, the river is more than a relaxing excursion during a Laos and Vietnam expedition — it is a livelihood.

The Mekong flows nearly 3,000 miles from Southeast China to drain in the South China Sea in a delta beneath Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, draining more than 313,000 square miles across Southeast Asia.

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The increasing popularity of nature travel is making it possible for curious explorers to discover the world's most beautiful — and off the beaten path — sights and sounds. For adventurers making their way to the recently “opened” nation of Laos – the country has only been opened to tourism for about a decade, the ideal destination for natural beauty is undoubtedly the Bolaven Plateau.

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Part of the allure of international nature travel is the ability to see new and interesting species of animals not commonly found back home. Yet while some travelers may have an eye for birds or be in love with larger mammals, others fancy themselves as amateur entomologists and prefer to study the intricacies of the endemic insect populations.

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Laos in particular requests visitors to show the proper respect when visiting their country. As with anywhere, visitors and locals alike should pay attention to basic rules of politeness. Making a good first impression will be greatly appreciated by the Lao people, who are often seen as shy and gentle.  These quick tips are useful in ensuring the best cultural experience possible.

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By Bill Robison

International Expeditions' Bill Robison, Director of Product Development, has just returned from leading four groups on out new Laos tour and Vietnam vacation. Bill tells us about special moments from the tour and even shares a few photos!

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By Bill Robison International Expeditions' Bill Robison, Director of Product Development, has just returned from leading four groups on our new Laos tour and Vietnam vacation. Bill tells us about the tour, the people and even shares a few photos!

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A bird-eating frog, Cat Ba leopard gecko and a Nonggang babbler, a bird that flies only when it is frightened are among dozens of new species discovered in an ecologically fragile part of Southeast Asia.

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Bill Robison, International Expeditions’ Director of Product Development, spent the first part of 2009 in Laos and Vietnam researching locations for our 15-day itinerary. Follow Bill’s series of updates on these fascinating countries, as well as how he’s put together a Laos and Vietnam tour that covers the spectacular natural beauty and culture of Southeast Asia.

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