While less traveled than some of its neighbors, Laos is no stranger to tourism. Tubing in Vang Vieng has long been on the classic backpacker itinerary and crossing the border from Thailand to Laos is a traveler’s right of passage. But venture just a bit off the well-trodden tourist path and you’ll discover a country so real and raw you’ll feel as if you’re the only foreigner to lay eyes on the thatched roof villages and forested hills.