When I went, I stayed in the most posh, charmless joint imaginable. I've never been a fan of marble floors and walls, and mirrors everywhere unsettle me. Luckily, His Majesty's tiny quarter is surrounded by millions of acres of Malaysian jungle. Before heading out into those wilds, I dined with a sage American CEO. I asked him if he noticed one human personality trait that was a sure ticket to financial success. He left me with this concept: when advice boils down to either here’s what you should do versus here’s what I would do if I were you, the latter is usually wiser guidance. So here's what I would do if I were you: put off Brunei until you crave gilded law and order.
With images of Thailand and Vietnam dancing in your head, you ask, "Why Laos?" Well, it separates them, making an unforgettable overland journey across this Southeast Asian gem even more sensible. Laos has it all, on a tiny budget: divine food, bohemian nightlife, generous locals. The kind, calm, and graceful Lao people make it hard to comprehend that Laos remains the most heavily bombed country ever, a legacy the US government is doing its best to repair.