I think this is the best phrasebook I've seen for the Lao language. I've used it on several trips to Laos and shared it with some Lao friends in America. They were very impressed that the sentences were written as they really say them, not like you see in a textbook. The book is from a New York publisher of language books that publishes books with high standards.
Other good things I found about the book:
1. It has a clear, concise grammar section
2. the selection of words and topics is comprehensive
3. the book is arranged in a way that is very easy to use
4. the introductory description of Lao is interesting and informative
I'd also like to say that the pronunciation system is the easiest I've seen. Tones are marked by lines that show the direction, which makes pronunciation a lot more clear than other books (this is also a problem with Thai). While there is no Lao script in the book the pronunciation can be figured out from the pronunciation chart in the front of the book. I think this book would be useful for people studying Lao, not only for travellers. Thank you Mr. Higbie for a creating a wonderful contribution to my library of S.E.Asian language books.