Lonely Planet: An ‘Unhappy Ending’ in Southern Laos.

Lonely Planet: An ‘Unhappy Ending’ in Southern Laos.

Above Photo: “What does it say in the book about used condoms?” Me in Sekong, Laos.

Like many, I swear by the Lonely Planet Guides, and take them wherever I go in the world, probably because I grew up travelling with them. Even in an age of WiFi, Smartphones and Trip Advisor, none of which can be much use in more out-of-the-way places, I still lug a Lonely Planet guide with me.

The Lonely Planet Guide to Laos is actually relevant to the plot of my novel, BACK, when a group of backpackers head into the jungles of Laos on a trek to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, armed with the Guide and little else.

Mangy Birds await at this hotel in Attapeu Laos, which I use as a real location in my novel.

Not in the Guide: Mangy Birds and a warm welcome await at this hotel in Attapeu, Laos, which I use as a real location in my novel.

On my last trip around Laos I actually emailed the company with some comments about Attapeu, in southern Laos, where my backpackers set off for their dangerous trek, because the Guide seemed hopelessly out of date.

To the victors, the spoils... Hammer and Sickle flies proudly in Salavan, Laos, bearing witness to the increasing Vietnamization of Laos' southern provinces

To the victors, the spoils… Hammer and Sickles fly proudly in Salavan, Laos, bearing witness to the increasing Vietnamization of Laos’ southern provinces

I also commented on a  few unpleasant incidents in Sekong, where we stayed in a hotel that we had also stayed in a couple of years ago, when it was excellent. On our last visit however, we discovered it had been turned into a seedy Vietnamese-run whorehouse, which was offering massage services. When we moved our bed out from the wall to access a plug socket, I discovered an enormous, disgusting stack of used condoms and condom wrappers down the side.

It wasn’t a pretty sight (much like the room-hopping masseuses), and it served as a distinctly unhappy ending to our time in Sekong.

 

For POWs left behind in Laos, see:

© Peter Alan Lloyd

Reviews: Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews 

UK: Amazon.co.uk: BACK Parts 1 and 2 

US: Amazon: Back Parts 1 and 2

Smashwords: Back Parts 1 and 2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peter.lloyd.94064?fref=ts

Website: www.peteralanlloyd.com

Twitter: @PeterAlanLloyd

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