I was writing a thriller in northeast Laos about fifteen years ago near a town called Phonsavan, researching a mysterious megalithic site known as the Plain of Jars. When my research was done, I realized I had to devise a route home to the quaint Laotian capital of Vientiane.
As I was driving one of only three rentable four-wheel-drives in the country, I decided to make the most of my mobility and take a more exciting route than the singular main road down the middle of the country (whereby I had arrived).
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