Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “One Foot in Laos” as Want to Read:
One Foot in Laos
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

One Foot in Laos

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  87 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Nestled between Vietnam to the east, Myanmar and China to the north, Thailand to the west and Cambodia to the south, Laos has long suffered from the depredations of its larger neighbors. But the biggest bully in its history was the United States which, starting in 1964, carried on a "secret war" against Laos. By the time of the ceasefire in February 1973, Laos had become t ...more
Published October 14th 1999 by John Murray
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about One Foot in Laos, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about One Foot in Laos

A Capitalist in North Korea by Felix AbtSeven Years in Tibet by Heinrich HarrerReading Lolita in Tehran by Azar NafisiUnsavory Elements by Tom  CarterChina by Tom  Carter
Adventure Travel & Exploration In Asia
33rd out of 203 books — 101 voters
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertWild by Cheryl StrayedThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienA Walk in the Woods by Bill BrysonInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer
151st out of 551 books — 693 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 269)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 08, 2011 Mike rated it it was ok
Dervla Murphy self-righteously refers to western travelers as "wimps". Meanwhile she rides a piece-of-crap bicycle with no brakes through Laos, terrorizing the villagers and drinking all of their beer. This book is less a travel book than a long and annoying rant about the evils of the western world. Though I share many of the author's views, I found her tone to be off-putting and obnoxious. I also found her translations, based as they were upon drunken charades rather than any actual language s ...more
Sally Tarbox
Oct 03, 2014 Sally Tarbox rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
"Were I to return in a few years I would not find the same Laos", October 3, 2014

This review is from: One Foot in Laos (Hardcover)
Published in 1999, after an intrepid lone tour of Laos by the author - a charismatic 60-something lady on a bike. From the temples and colonial architecture of the capital, up into remote mountains and tiny villages where foreigners are a rarity; Ms Murphy chronicles her journey, from the amusing to the picturesque.
This is, however, a serious book, focussing at lengt
Kathleen McRae
Feb 16, 2016 Kathleen McRae rated it really liked it
Dervla might be quite pointed at times but I enjoy her ability to travel as she does and to have the knowledge she does and to include that history and politics with her dialogue
Jul 10, 2012 Kiril rated it really liked it
I just finished the book today - it is the first book by Dervla Murhpy I have read, and I am sure it is probably not the easiest read.

Dervla Murphy's views on colonial policies in small countries like Laos really hit the right spot and I agree with her views to a large extent. Her knowledge is deep and goes so far beyond the shallow views of the silly Lonely Planet overview of things. However, this comes with a price - she tends to get preachy, and sometimes she can get a bit boring.

Great read
Feb 22, 2009 Beryl rated it it was amazing
I love all of Dervla Murphy's books. Such a resilient woman who travels the world in the simplest of ways, meeting people and seeing parts others rarely reach. This was the first of her books that I read since I was really interested to find out more about Laos - and I have gone on to read every book of hers as it is published. I'd like to think that I could emulate Dervla, who like me is a traveller to a country rather than a tourist, but I fear I have insufficient guts for the extremes she goe ...more
Jan 15, 2012 crm rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
a gutsy woman traveller. much of the commentary is tinged with a delightful understated irony. difficult to find books on travel in Laos (apart from travel guides - even those are few and far between). will be interesting to compare with "Ant Egg Soup - the Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos". Looking forward to being in Laos for Christmas/New Year.
Mar 16, 2012 Luke rated it liked it
As ever I find Dervla's total bias to Western society annoying but find the places and situations she gets into amazing. Her default stance of anything modern instantly being bad can get tiresome. That said I'll contine to read her books as they are fascinating.

Naomi Haney
Feb 11, 2013 Naomi Haney rated it it was ok
I loved Full Tilt and I am a fan of DM but the longer that she writes the more political that she becomes. In addition, she has a somewhat bitter tone at times, I just seem to enjoy her earlier works a lot more.
Carol Jardine
Aug 15, 2011 Carol Jardine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Informative, witty and philospohical in a muted and honest way - an excellent read, especially if you are visiting Laos!
Aug 18, 2007 Jonathan rated it really liked it
superb writing from an adventurous and well educated Irish woman. A beautiful vicarious experience of Laos.
Boring! Interesting stuff about international development tho'. There is no answer.
Blair marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Sarah marked it as to-read
Aug 18, 2016
Mayuri is currently reading it
Aug 17, 2016
Kristin marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2016
Zoe marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Lkc417 marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Colleen Leddie
Colleen Leddie marked it as to-read
Aug 09, 2016
Emily marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2016
Jan Edwards
Jan Edwards marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2016
Nizam uddin
Nizam uddin rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2016
Bryan Worra
Bryan Worra is currently reading it
Jun 09, 2016
Scottreddy rated it it was amazing
Jun 06, 2016
Atreidesnz marked it as to-read
May 26, 2016
Sarah rated it liked it
May 15, 2016
Merijn marked it as to-read
May 14, 2016
Nicole Fu
Nicole Fu marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
Dee Mackenzie
Dee Mackenzie marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Poseidonhut marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos
  • The River's Tale: A Year on the Mekong
  • A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam
  • Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos
  • Bamboo Palace: Discovering the Lost Dynasty of Laos
  • Under the Dragon: Travels in a Betrayed Land
  • Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos, 1942-1992
  • In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos
  • In Search of Genghis Khan: An Exhilarating Journey on Horseback Across the Steppes of Mongolia
  • And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History
  • Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo
  • Beyond the Last Village: A Journey Of Discovery In Asia's Forbidden Wilderness
  • The Lonely Planet Guide To Experimental Travel
  • For Us Surrender is Out of the Question
  • Into the Heart of Borneo
  • A Journey in Ladakh: Encounters with Buddhism
  • Nine-Headed Dragon River: Zen Journals, 1969-1982
  • For Tibet, with Love: A Beginner's Guide to Changing the World
Dervla Murphy is an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books for over 40 years. She is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Murphy normally travels alone and unaided, without luxuries and depending on the hospitality of local people. When not travelling, Murph
More about Dervla Murphy...

Share This Book