I attended a seminar that I helped organise a couple of hours from Vientiane in Thalat. This time we stayed at a government- run resort. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, just a few cockroaches and no TV. Some of my Lao collegues did notice the differences between the privately run business and this government one and could see why which was good to see.
The group attending the seminar was great. They all knew one another which helped. They sang folk songs on the bus- one about the beautiful 4000 islands in the south. The leader sang through the microphone meant for the tour guide on the bus. They tried to encourage me to sing, but I refused. During the seminar they sang a song about getting together and fighting the war against America.
Talking to my collegues, Marx and Lenin's works are still taught. There is one subject per semester on their ideas at university. They are required to recite lengthy passages of their texts word- for- word.