The drive from Phonsavan to Luang Prabang doesn't sound too bad to the ear. It's only about 270km and you get to drive through beautiful scenic mountains. Well, throw in a ton of rain and the realization that those mountains mean tons of switchbacks up and down and up and down and up and down... and.. we'll you get the point. It wasn't the most fun day of driving but I did make it to Luang Prabang, of course I had to bribe a police officer to get in. It was incredibly annoying but that is just how law goes in some countries. In the end I talked him down from 50k kip to 30k and I got to put it in his commanding officers pants, so the story is almost worth the near $4usd.
the first time you see lao men with guns on backroads, it's a bit freighting. By this time I was used to it. Usually they don't let me film them but this guy was ok with it. I believe he is a hunter of some sort, what animal needs an automatic rifle to hunt, I have no idea.