Our bus ride to Phonsavan in the remote province of Xieng Kuang took us all day. The rewards however were plentiful, with gorgeous mountain panoramas rolling off in every direction, cool highland air, and friendly locals in our village pit stops.
A visit to the MAG (Mines Advisory Group) museum in Phonsavan sobered us up quickly, and reminded us of the tragic consequences of the Vietnam War in Laos. Villagers, still to this day, constantly uncover cluster bombs dropped by the U.S. Army. Fifty years after the war, the ‘bombies’ as they are known, are still killing – particularly farmers, who accidentally hit them when ploughing their fields; and children, who pick up the yellow, tennis ball sized bombs thinking they are toys. Not a great deal for a country that wasn’t even involved in the war.