It is quite interesting to consider that Shell gas stations at the time could be found even in rural Laos. Clearly tourism would have developed more rapidly but for the war and the early years of the socialist state, but the potential was there. The French before World War II were the first road builders and the American aid program invested considerable resources in their reconstruction. In 1969 security was a problem for road travel. Even in recent times there have been instances of banditry on this highway.