Travel

Springtime, just before the new century began. As Laos is now the new Cambodia, Vietnam was then the new Thailand, and my girlfriend and I had arrived – with our backpacks – to see what all the fuss was about. The capital Hanoi had dazzled, and we were due to take the train 420 miles down the coast to Hué. We were late, though. We were always late.

Good Morning, Luang Prabang – and hello to Laos's film industry

There are so many movies being produced these days that the premiere of most films hardly merits a second look. But in Laos there is cause for genuine excitement. Thirty-three years after the communist government overthrew the king and seized power, the south-east Asian nation has just produced its first privately funded movie, Good Morning, Luang Prabang.

Help your chicks as they fly solo

News of derring-do by children abroad worries most parents. Hold your nerve, says Anne McHardy

Travel: Tales of the riverbank

Ian Gardener had the bright idea of going by bike and boat to the source of the Mekong. Or so he thought

Parents fly to Briton attacked in Australia

THE PARENTS of a British backpacker, lying critically injured in hospital after being brutally attacked in Australia, were making plans yesterday to fly out to his bedside.

Striped rabbit found in Laos

BIOLOGISTS HAVE identified an unknown species of striped rabbit with a red rump in the mountain forests of Laos and Vietnam, an area that has already seen the discovery of a range of previously unrecorded mammals in recent years.

Books: Babylonian orgiastic uproar meets poverty

The Trouble With Tigers: The Rise and Fall of South East Asia

Tennis: Robinson punishes two British prospects

PAUL ROBINSON broke Greg Rusedski's mighty serve twice before losing in the men's singles semi-finals at the National Championships two years ago. Yesterday, Robinson advanced to the quarter-finals after deciding that playing in Shropshire was preferable to "sitting around doing nothing in Sweden when I had the week off from coaching".

LITERALLY LOST: 49

Competition

The Ottawa Convention is a minefield in itself

AMID THE punditry surrounding the first anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, assertions have been made that the international landmines ban to which she lent her very public support is something of a sham. This was, at least, the view taken by John Sweeney in his documentary, Diana: The Wrong Crusade?, screened on Wednesday on Channel 4, in which the message was clear: don't worry about banning the sale of mines, just try to clear the minefields.

US military 'used nerve gas'

THE United States used deadly nerve gas in top secret operations during the Vietnam War, CNN and Time magazine reported yesterday.

The century in photographs: 98 for 98 - Today 1970

The Independent's photo-history reaches the 1970s. This frank interpretation of the Truman doctrine, photographed in an American position during the invasion of Cambodia, may have been the popular reaction to Communist expansion, but US and South Vietnamese forces were finding it harder than ever to put theory into practice in South East Asia.

Travel: Welcome to Laos, and remember not to wander too far from the paths

This beautiful, tragic country has the distinction of being the most bombed place on earth. It's also difficult to get into, but it's worth the effort, says Gareth Lloyd

Secret war still claims lives in Laos

Twenty-five years after US raids stopped, unexploded bombs continue to kill and maim
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn