Weird Places in Laos – The Scary Souksomphone Hotel in Attapeu.
Above Photo – Returning to the scene of the crime – Me at the Souksomphone Hotel in Attapeu.
On a recent trip into southern Laos I retraced the steps of the ill-fated British and American backpackers in my novel BACK, who head out from a small and weird town in southern Laos, called Attapeu, into the tri-border jungle, venturing towards the Ho Chi Minh Trail. They’re looking for something left behind from the Vietnam War, and find themselves in serious trouble as a result.
In the book, based the trekkers in the Souksomphone Hotel in Attapeu, having stayed there a couple of years ago, and it was a pretty unusual experience all round. I planned to also stay there on this visit – just for a night, although on arrival, I was shocked to find the hotel was closed. The proprietor told me he’s getting too old to manage it.
Still, he kindly opened it up for me and I was able to show him on my laptop how his hotel was now a star attraction in BACK, which he seemed very pleased about.
We took one last look around the stuffed animals and birds in the dark lobby area, before having a last check of the now-closed bedrooms, Heath-Robinson plumbing and rock-hard beds which, all of which I describe in the book.
Then we said a final goodbye. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be venturing back to Attapeu again if I can help it – it’s too much like hard work, as my backpackers also discovered to their cost in the novel.
See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.
And for POWs left behind in Laos:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
BACK Parts 1 and 2:
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