February 21st, 2010
Laos is a small, landlocked Asian country, surrounded by China, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Although Laos is still not on the itinerary of most Americans, tourism is the country's fastest-growing industry. According to Wikipedia, in 1990 4,400 tourists visited Laos. In 2005, that number had risen to 1.1 million. Tourism provides Laos with much-needed cash, and is expected to bring in $250–300 million by 2020.
However, before you go adventuring in Laos, there are a few things you need to be aware of:
Stay on the beaten path
Unfortunately, there is still a good deal of unexploded ordinance (UXO) left over from the Indochina War, as well as buried land mines. The US Department of State notes that unexploded ordinance kills more than 300 people in Laos each year.
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