How to cross the Cambodia – Laos border.

We’ve just added another feature into our How Do I? series. Of all the border crossings in the region, the overland crossing between Cambodia and Laos has been one of the most changeable. In some ways, the Veun Kham / Dom Kralor has all the ingredients of a pain in the posterior crossing — corrupt border officials, unscrupulous boat men, inconsistent travel advice and of course wildly varying traveller tales. Read on to find out the best way to cross this ever-changing border. You can read the full story here.

Prophetic writings on Vang Vieng

Here’s a link to a story by AP writer Denis Gray about a 2001 visit to Vang Vieng. While the story is somewhat dated, its conclusion — that Vang Vieng is doomed — is pretty much spot on.

For some, Vang Vieng is the first stop on a touristic opium trail which weaves through Luang Prabang and ends at Muang Sing in northwestern Laos. But most come to savor the atmosphere of old Asia rapidly vanishing in much of the continent, and probably also doomed in Vang Vieng.

Anyone who visited Vang Vieng before it’s rapid rise in popularity would hardly recognise the place today. Despite independent travellers often bad-mouthing package tourists for the “damage” they do to destinations, in the case of Vang Vieng, the damage has been wrought almost entirely by these very backpackers and independent travellers.

Why is it that when people travel across the world they end up demanding banana pancakes, internet access, TV (we all know about the Friends cafes in Vang Vieng) and iPod download cafes?

Travel research jobs with Travelfish

We’re looking for a couple of Thailand-based travel-writers. If any of the following sound familiar, then we’d love to hear from you.

1) You love to travel
2) You need to look at every flophouse in town before settling on a room
3) You draw up a sketch map of most spots you visit
4) You travel with sixteen guidebooks, hate them all and know you could do better
5) You write bar reviews on the back of coasters
6) You write long letters to your Mum and when you get home she says you should have been a travel writer
7) You read bus timetables — just for fun
8) You collect bus, boat and plane tickets but you don’t know why
9) You keep a travel blog
10) You love to travel

For more information, please see the jobs page. Positions are for immediate start and there’s considerable scope for regional travel after an initial trial period.