Laos was virtually unknown to me when we went there.  I had never really even heard of the country because I am rather naive.  Laos is a very interesting place to visit because some areas seem to be devoid of tourism completely and others have white people crawling all over them like a swarm of ants at a picnic.  We visited Laos in July of 2012 and it was memorable because it was monsoon season.  The north was great for exploring and we did an amazing trekking experience where we hiked through the jungle with our trusty guides who built a camp, a fire and cooking utensils from the bamboo and leaves that surrounded us.  They cooked a delicious meal for us using meat they had brought with them but all other ingredients were foraged for from the forest.  It was the best stew I’ve ever eaten.  The second day was spent kayaking and visiting local villages.  Further south in the country is Vang Vieng, one of the full-of-white-people places.  The popular thing to do there is float on inner tubes down the Song River, stopping at the various watering holes along the way.