Green Path is not a travel diary but I am going to make an exception to show off the beautiful country around Vang Vieng, about halfway between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
The first three photos were taken on an early morning amble which led me from town along the river bank, across the river and into the rice paddies before I turned back. The remainder show the farming country near Wolf Cave, about 10km out of town.
The post at left is the casing of a cluster bomb, one of a few reminders in this town of the American carpet-bombing of Laos during the Vietnam war.
The machine pulling the cart is, in fact, a minimalist tractor. It has only the two wheels and is controlled from the front of the cart via enormously stretched motorbike-style handlebars. The whole set-up may look weird to us but it is cheap, effective and quite common in SE Asia.