When you are tight on time, you can easily fly to most interesting towns in Laos. Your carrier will be Lao Aviation, and flying with this company can be a real adventure. First of all, they use small Chinese turboprops, in which not everything looks extremely safe. Then, all airports are of a charming size, often consisting of just a farm-turned-airport building. A short walk away is the plane. When a flight has left, some of the people in charge take their motorcycle and drive home for lunch. On the runway.
Once we still had to buy our tickets, went directly to the airfield, and instead of a ticket all we got after paying was an empty boarding pass. Surprisingly enough, this was sufficient to let us board the plane several hours later. Lao Aviation must also be the most punctual airline in the world, since there are often no official departure and arrival times. We were told that we should always ask the day before flying at what time the flight would be expected. In one case we even left 40 minutes before "scheduled" departure time and landed exactly at departure time!
Since all planes are small turboprops and distances are short, you never fly very high. This means that you often get spectacular views of the countryside. All in all, while in many parts of the world flying has become a very routine way of transportation, in Laos you can still enjoy the a more romantic way of flying.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lao Aviation (Laos). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lao Aviation. Read more about this site.