Laos Travel Part 1: Vientiane Nov.1-5,2011
After 18 days in China and reunions in Guilin and Nanning with our 2006 Guangxi University students, we had a short and direct flight to Vientiane to begin 13 days of exploring a country we had not been to before.
VOA took a short time and cost $35/pp. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t find DH’s passport photo…….one was taken for an extra $1. A taxi took us to the SOUPHAPHONE Guest House and I checked the room before paying for our 4 nights. ($22/night..no breakfast). Check out my review: “A Great Choice” 4/5. Thank you, Rufuscat for suggesting it more than once on this forum.
We experienced initial culture shock coming from China. Caucasians everywhere,most restaurants catering to foreigners and streets packed with high end SUV’s and trucks making for heavy traffic, combined with motor bikes and scooters. The very friendly locals were everywhere, thank goodness.
During our four days, we walked mostly everywhere. We took a liking to the food stall on the corner of Francois Ngin & Fa Ngum , in front of the M Mart and became addicted to their Seafood and Greens. It didn’t take long for Lao Coffee to become another addiction. While we imbibed at AROMA several times, we also stopped at other shops during our days. We lunched at LAO-NING DUMPLING and adored dinner at AMPHONE. I’ve done a review: “Glad We Dined Here”.5/5. Our worst meal was at Nam Phu Restaurant/Bar and I’ve done a review” Do Not Bother” 1/5.
We walked to Talaat Sao, stopped in at the Lao National Museum and the Ho Phra Keow Museum. IN PENG TEMPLE was gorgeous and a terrific photo-op and WAT ONGTUE holds special meaning for us because we spent quite a bit of time conversing with a monk. He even knew of Naropa University in our town! There WERE other wats in town that we stopped at and enjoyed.
We took a taxi to THAT LUANG……it was several days before the religious festival, but the international trade fair was in full swing. The temple complex is large and heavily visited by Laotians and foreign pilgrims and tourists. We watched the Buddhist Pilgrims bring their offerings of fruit and flowers and walk the perimeter of the Golden Stupa 3 times during which they continuously pray. Following this procession of young and old, the pilgrims place their offerings on the wall of the Stupa. I’m sure the processions between Nov.8-10 were an amazing sight.!
We took a LONG walk back to Souphaphone stopping at Patuxai and Talaat Sao yet again and comparing coffees along the way.
We had terrific foot massages at OASIS…next to the Full Moon Restaurant on Francois Ngin and a facial there was luscious too! Great atmosphere and reasonable prices.
Laundry prices are good up and down the street and I found it to be more than acceptable work.
Walking the riverfront became an after dinner activity,along with the night market along the Mekong river bank.
For us, Vientiane was a relaxing time before heading out to the Plain of Jars.
Laos Travel Part 2 Plain of Jars Phonsavan Forum
Laos Travel Part 3 Luang Prabang Luang Prabang forum