Laube loses her way

Good travel books should instil in the reader a yearning to visit a place.

Sadly, Lydia Laube's Lost in Laos (Wakefield Press pbk) is more likely to discourage than encourage, despite Laos being one of Asia's most delightful countries. The book is mainly a list of journeys by local transport, what Laube ate and where she stayed, with no explanation as to why she kept changing accommodation in each town.

There is little about the history or cultural riches of Laos and on her first visit, Laube didn't even bother to visit the Plain of Jars, the country's most significant archaeological site. With no photos or even the sketchiest map, even those, like me, who have visited Laos, will write Laube off as lost, not Laos.

 - Gillian Vine

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