Thoughts on Vientiane

Apr 03, 2011 No Comments by

A few random thoughts from my first days in Laos:

French Influence
Laos was originally a French colony and the roots of that occupation can still be felt profoundly throughout Vientiane. Breakfast has been absolutely fabulous comprised of French bread, croissants, crepes and banana loaf bread. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had really good bread? Neither do I, let’s not dwell on that. Also many of the signs around town are in French. While most countries tend to have signage in their native language with a smaller subscript of English, Laos defers to French. This is fabulous because I can actually read it!

The Lao Alphabet
It’s awesome, hands down. It’s all curvy and fabulous. I can’t read a single letter of it and the keyboards at internet cafés can give you a headache, but still fantastic. I wanna change.

Most countries so far have been overrun with stray dogs. Laos has an overabundance of cats. Dogs still make their presence known, but this country is ruled by the feline persuasion. Also they don’t have tails. I’m not sure if this is from a particular species of cat that dominates the area or if they all lose their tails through streetfights. Either way their little stubby tails make me laugh every and I try hard not to think of rabies when there’s a cute kitty sleeping under my table.

Monks are Awesome
So far I’ve had Christian, Hindu and Muslim nations, now it’s time to add Buddhist to the list. It’s so much fun to see all the Buddhist Monks wandering town in their orange colored robes and sandals. Every town should have monks. They make everything better. Everything! Example: When I arrived in Vientiane it was dumping rain which is hardly the best introduction. On the way to find food I saw a bunch of monks playing chess at a roadside table and instantly felt better about Laos. Monks are like magic!

The Beds Suck
Most of Asia has had less than desirable bedding situations, however Laos wins the battle of suckage. Beds, while huge, mostly consist of a wooden platform with a 1 inch foam mattress. You actually can get used to the bed itself but the pillows? Oh man. Those things are solid stone! I honestly have no idea what they are made of, it can’t be anything normal. They might have in a previous life been a pillow, now it’s merely a cloth-covered rock. I’ve taken to using my towel as a pillow. It’s pretty decent.

I Like Rivers
After being around the ocean for most of the last few months, it’s been great to be back on the river. They’re a completely different vibe to riverside towns and I would much rather spend my days on a riverbank, than ocean beach. While it’s the still dry season, the Mekong River is a busy place.

Pepsi vs. Coke
Laos is a Pepsi nation. I haven’t seen a can of Pepsi since I left Australia and here it is, makin a comeback. Seriously Pepsi is half the price of Coke. I don’t know where I was going with that, but thought I would share the news.


About the author

One die-hard Mac Geek set on traveling the globe.
No Responses to “Thoughts on Vientiane”

Leave a Reply