Tourism experts have announced that visitors to the Mekong Sub-region may be able to buy a single visa for visiting Cambodia and five of its neighbors by 2015.
According to the Bangkok Post February 6 edition, the prediction was made at a Mekong Sub-regional tourism meeting in Bangkok earlier this week.
In this decade, tourism in the region is greatly developing. In 1995 there were only 10 million tourists, but by 2015 this is expected to increase to 50 million, predicted the Asian Development Bank's (ADB).
Of the many dusty sawngthaew rides I've been on in Laos, this one was the dustiest. The grasses and shrubs on the side of the road are all coated in a fine layer of dirt, looking as if they've been bronzed, and by the end of the hour and a half trip from Ban Na Hin to Ban Kong Lo there's dust in my ears and tiny beaches have formed in the folds of my clothes.
The flappers' gowns are torn, their cloche hats discolored and disintegrating; coattails are ripped and muddied; cigarette holders dangle from bare phalanges; the haunting quintet in matching tuxedos is tearing through Duke Ellington; and a reanimated, though paler than usual, Jay Gatsby has flown in to host the liveliest -- or is that undeadest? -- party of the year in the decrepit ballroom. No need to clear out the dead branches on the floor. The guests' spectral feet will Charleston right through them. And no need to clean out the fireplace; the chilled air suits the atmosphere nicely.
Location, location, location, you know the old adage and the magnificent temples of the ancient Khmer empire are no exception. The classic Khmer temple of Phnom Rung boasts Thailand's boldest location, perched atop an extinct volcano, while in Laos the Khmers left their legacy under the shadow of Lingaparvata mountain in the elegant lines of Wat Phu.