I can’t believe that I only stumbled upon this article now! This year is almost over and I am only starting to read “53 Places To Go In 2008.” Oh well, better late than never, right? And it is not as if I would have had the means to visit ALL 53 places in a year anyway! You can read about all of the places on your own – the list will not fit in a single blog post – but let me pick out some of the ones that I am really interested in.
Vietnam and Cambodia are so 2007. Now, Laos is shaping up to be Indochina’s next hot spot. Ancient sites like the Wat Phou temple complex and the capital city of Vientiane are drawing culture seekers. Luxury teak houseboats are cruising down the Mekong. And global nomads are heading to Luang Prabang to sample the Laotian tasting menu at 3 Nagas (www.3nagas.com) or hang out by the infinity pool at the seriously upscale Résidence Phou Vao (www.residencephouvao.com).
I once read a novel which was set in Laos and I have been interested in this country since then. Though it is not at the top of my travel destinations, I think that it does present a very viable option.
The 2004 tsunami, a fragile ecology and a recent bombing have done little to dampen a hotel boom in this island-nation of about 1,192 coral islets in the Indian Ocean. Among the high-end hotels expected to open next year is a Regent Hotels & Resorts (www.regenthotels.com) with 50 villas, many set over the water, allowing guests to observe the rich marine life while still lying in bed.
This is one place that I wouldn’t mind visiting in the near future. I think it is a bit beyond my budget, though.