We rushed through Laos (covering the entire country from southernmost to northenmost border in three weeks, cycling around 800km and 'cheating' on two buses. Despite our speedy journey, the affectionate version of PDR (People's Democratic Republic) was ever so true as we found out very quickly (if that is not a paradox!). In fact, we were told the same joke we had been told in several African countries - 'In the west you have the watches but in Laos (or Africa) we have the time.' Laos is one of the most relaxed countries we have visited with plenty of cyclists. Despite its hilliness (sometimes 20% climbs), we really enjoyed our time there - on a few of its 4000 southern islands, in the Mekongside villages and in its two main cities. The only time it was totally crazy was during Pi Mai or New Year.