A beautiful part of South East Asia, Laos is a more quiet stop than Thailand next door. Although tourist numbers are ever increasing, the focus tends to be on the stretch between Vientianne and Luang Prabang; outside these areas, the numbers decrease rapidly.
For Kiwis, visas are available on the border for $US30 and are valid for 30 days (up from the old 15 day limit when I first visited in 2006). Most countries are eligible for a visa on the border, although the rate varies depending on country. This information was valid when I last visited in September 2007.