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Laos tops world ranking soon-to-be white hot tourist destinations 2008

Laos is listed as no. 1 of the world's top 53 tourist destinations for 2008 by the New York Times and one of the cheapest destinations 2007 by famous MSN travel magazine. This time, Laos is listed in the top 5 Soon-to-Be White Hot Tourist Destinations in the world by famous ABC magazine together with Bhutan, Mosco, Kazakhstan and Nicaragua.

Belows are the details:

Venturing off the beaten path is adventure enough for some, but beating down the path itself is for a special breed. For these alpha tourists, the joy of travel is in getting there before the people who wear Mickey Mouse sweatshirts do.

These destinations are poised to become vacation hot spots in the next few years but for now are still ripe for path-beaters to explore. You might have trouble getting around -- or even to -- your destination without a bit of the language or a local friend to help you out, but good stories are what alpha tourists bring home -- not T-shirts.

Adventure-seekers have already trailed Vietnam and Cambodia.

And while Laos has seen a couple of upscale hotels pop up -- like the Residence Phou Vao and its infinity pool -- there's still plenty of territory with little Western influence.

Though 10 percent of the country lives in the capital city, Vietaine, its lack of modern architecture has preserved an Asian village feel -- though the gilded temples are offset by French colonial architecture.

Don't Miss:
Mekong River: Charter a teak houseboat and float through the countryside along Southeast Asia's longest river. Tours range from three to 18 days and must be booked in advance.

Wat Phou: Six kilometers from the Mekong in southern Laos, this ruined Khmer temple complex dates back to the eleventh century. The name translates to "temple on the mountain," as it sits at the base of Mt. Phu Kao.

Luang Prabang: You can walk just about anywhere in this tiny mountain town, though bikes are available for a cheap day rate. Flanked by mountains and bisected by the Mekong River, the scenery is beautiful as its Royal Palace Museum, once the home of the king before communist takeover.

Kuang Si Falls: Find a day's worth of swimming, river hiking and picnicking at these beautiful waterfalls, just about an hour by boat or tuk-tuk from Luang Prabang. Under the jungle canopy, the climate is quite a bit cooler than in the nearby city.

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