Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia and was once known as the “land of million elephants.” Although that might have been an exaggeration, the intact rainforest that covers most of this Utah-sized mountainous tropical nation supports innumerable forms of wildlife. The nation’s lifeline is the mighty Mekong river which forms its border with Thailand. Buddhism is very strong here, the temples of Luang Prabong are filled with saffron robed monks and are some of the world’s best examples of Buddhist architecture. The capital Vientiane still has some French architecture from the Indochine colonial period. Laos is wonderfully uncrowded with only 7 million people, many of them living in hill tribes which cling to their colorful ancient culture and lifestyles. Don’t miss Laos, a human scale destination surrounded by giants.