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Laos: Luang Prabang - Books & Movies
RECOMMENDED READING 
  • A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam by Norman Lewis. Originally published in 1951, Norman Lewis' account reads as a particularly poignant travelogue during the last years of the French colonial regime in Indo-China, before the Vietnam War took its terrible toll on native civilizations.  An important read for travelers and scholars alike, presenting enchanting images from a way of life that was soon to be devastated by the machinations of war.  
  • A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between by Grant Evans. This comprehensive and vivid history of Laos is an ideal introduction for tourists, business travelers, and students. Informative and portable, it chronicles the history of Laos from ancient times, when the dynastic states of the region waxed and waned, to the turmoil of the Vietnam War and independence from France. 
  • Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of A Food Tourist in Laos by Natacha Du Pont De Bie. A lighthearted and refreshing account of the author's travels through Laos in search of the perfect meal, including stories of the people she met along the way, recipes and line drawings of fantastic Laotian food ranging from Paradise chicken to fried cricket and everything in between.
  • Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos by Brett Dakin. After two years spent working and living as an American in Laos, Dakin provides unique insights into a country still recovering from its turbulent past. Once employed by a wealthy general, Dakin recounts his fascinating experiences with everyone from princes to ex-pats in one of the world's last remaining communist nations.
  • One Foot in Laos by Dervla Murphy. Writing from a time in the late 1990's when Laos had just opened its borders to the West, Murphy offers her view of a country devastated by the "secret war" carried on by the United States from 1964 until the ceasefire of 1973, a struggle that took its toll on Laos but failed to repress the enduring spirit of its people.  
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. An award-winning true story of the cultural clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy.  This edition includes updates on the original story.
  • The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy. A controversial and intriguing analysis of the opium trade, this book also stands as the first printed account of the United States' "secret war" in Laos.  Originally published in 1972, the study follows the trail from the highlands of Laos, where the opium is grown and harvested by the Hmong tribespeople, to the Golden Triangle, where it is refined into heroin. 
RECOMMENDED VIEWING 
  • Good Morning, Luang Prabang (2008). A Thai photographer visiting Laos falls in love with his tour guide in this romantic drama directed by Sakchai Deenan.  Heartwarming and poignant, this is the first commercial film shot in Laos since the country adopted communism in 1975. 
  • The Most Secret Place on Earth (2008). A documentary by German filmmaker Marc Eberle that sheds light on the secret operation waged by the CIA throughout the sixties and early seventies against communist guerrillas in Laos, particularly in the hidden city of Long Chen.  
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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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