Welcome to Northern Laos
In the north you will also find a tapestry of vividly attired ethnic tribes unlike anywhere else in Laos.
Here the Land of a Million Elephants morphs into the land of a million hellish bends and travel is not for the faint-hearted, as roads twist and turn through towering mountain ranges and serpentine river valleys.
Most northern towns are functional places, rebuilt after wholesale bombing during the 20th-century Indochina wars. But visitors aren't here for the towns; it's all about the rural life. River trips are a wonderful way to discover the bucolic scenery at a more languid pace.