A cute little 10-inch netbook computer can be in your hot little hands for less than $200 nowadays. If you stuff one into your backpack before your next trip to anywhere, you will be endlessly thankful.
All of the beautiful photos in this article are from spaces in Luang Prabang, Laos, that have free Wi-fi internet access. Honestly. Isn’t that amazing??
“WHAT?!” you holler, jumping closer to the screen. “You mean I can sip icy Lao tea on the palm-studded banks of the Mekong River, and access Facebook at the same time?
“You mean I can watch the graceful bamboo irrigation tubes trickle fresh water into the riverside crops and still have a place to plug in my baby Asus or Acer or Dell?”
Yes, indeed. The Lao cafe manager is also using it to power his computer as we speak.
Yes, thank heavens, you can.
“You mean I can save the $2 a day by avoiding these same Internet cafes and instead spend it on four flaky golden croissants while slurping the free net signal from the air above?”
“You mean, if I pick one of the many $10-a-night hotels that provide free Wi-fi, I can chat online with my friends and family in the States, while simulteaneously wearing my pajamas and bunny slippers?”
Yes, but you will be hot in Southeast Asia with bunny slippers.
In short: I was extremely nervous about bringing a fancy electronic abroad, but ultimately a $200 value is a relatively non-stressful liability (especially given how much money, time, and stress it saves you), and when the dreaded day came when my netbook broke, it was easy and hilarious enough to fix it.
For any journey abroad of longer than two weeks, a baby laptop is a must-have.