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One Foot in Laos by Dervla Murphy
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One Foot in Laos

by Dervla Murphy

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"Were I to return in a few years I would not find the same Laos", October 3, 2014

This review is from: One Foot in Laos (Hardcover)
Published in 1999, after an intrepid lone tour of Laos by the author - a charismatic 60-something lady on a bike. From the temples and colonial architecture of the capital, up into remote mountains and tiny villages where foreigners are a rarity; Ms Murphy chronicles her journey, from the amusing to the picturesque.
This is, however, a serious book, focussing at length on USA's 'Secret war' and the vast numbers of live bombs still making much land unusable; on covert American co-operation with the opium producers; and on modern day 'development' of the country by such benevolent-sounding organisations as the United Nations Development Programme, and the horrific results of attempts to forcibly westernize a traditional society. I have to say that my eyes have been greatly opened by Ms Murphy's expose of such matters.
A very informative read. ( )
  starbox | Oct 3, 2014 |
This is both a traveller's story and a discussion of the impact of the appalling US bombing of Laos and recent sometimes misguided efforts at modernisation. Thought-provoking but rather grim and depressing. ( )
  janglen | Mar 21, 2011 |
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For Caitriona, John and Ruari
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Emerging from the Underground at Heathrow, I shouldered a rucksack holding three months' luggage, walked briskly towards Departures - then registered a novel sensation of lightness and simplicity.
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Dervla Murphy had planned to trek through the high mountains of Laos, far from the country's few motor roads, but she soon encountered complications. In Laos, however, the people compensated for all that went wrong. Murphy presents her glimpse of a unique culture in this account of her journey.… (more)

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