Hugely visited but still far away.
Many travellers assume that all the tourists stay in Thailand and Cambodia and never make it to Laos. They're wrong. It's not an exotic land. It's filled with backpackers, buses of Chinese tourists, tour groups, and hotels.
Despite this, it is a still a delight to visit, and is not so modern and Westernized.
I visited for three weeks in February 2015 as part of my Global Cycling Tour.
I deliberately avoided some of the more touristed areas, instead taking the smallest backroads through hard-to-pronounce towns. I felt just about everything as I learned of the landmines, caves, disgusting river fish jerky, and fields of trash. Laos can be a simple tour, or a fun adventure.