Fairtrade Cafe, Bolaven Plateau, Laos (John Rodsted)
When I travelled to Laos in 2010 to visit the farmers who grow our coffee I was really impressed with it as a travel destination.
The initial appeal is the relaxed vibe of Vientianne, the capital which only has around 750,000 people. There are adventure activities on offer (mostly on the Mekong, I think) and the delightful people. If you like architecture and culture, Vietnianne is a fantastic place to walk around as it is quite small, or you can hire a bike and virtually cycle around the whole city.
A highlight was staying in the Champasak Palace Hotel in Pakse. From there you can venture up to the Bolaven Plateau where you can see the beautiful waterfalls and jungles, eat local food and stay at some great eco lodges.
The Age have a article on Laos which you can read here. The yalso mention the problem with unexploded ordinance.