Mayhem-free: the new schoolies hotspots

With Schoolies Week less than two months away, Jane Reddy counts down the options beyond the Gold Coast - from extreme adventures and fun in the sun to getaways with a good cause and holidays with heart.

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Vang Vieng tubing

Party's over for backpacker mecca

Once the party mecca of South-East Asia for backpackers, Vang Vieng has cleaned up its act - but tourists are staying away, writes David Whitley.

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Chao Anouvong Park.

24 hours in Vientiane

Leisa Tyler enjoys the lingering French flavours of a capital that balances ambitious growth with timeless Buddhist calm.

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Laos offers spectacular landscapes, but its people are the real attraction.

Laos: why bother?

It's poor, dangerous and difficult to travel through. So why is everyone going there?

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