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Published: February 12th 2018
We pass on the invitation to join the Geordie Boys for sport and beer at the bar at the end of our road and instead enjoy a Japanese quiet meal, on Street 9W, one of the main thoroughfares of Savannakhet, followed by a drink on our hotel terrace and a reasonably early night. 9pm
and we're in our (windowless) room playing Fleetwood Mac
's 'The Dance' music video until 10.30pm
when tiredness overcame us.
arrives with a bang! Lots of our fellow guests are up early and on the move, such is the nature of travelling. As the walls of our restored retro building are paper thin, we are awake far earlier than planned. Our hosts really are a hopeless bunch, they only speak Lai and have no hotel or customer skills whatsoever . The girl serving takes 5 trips to serve Leo's Croissant and coffee, forgetting first, the milk, second the knife, third the butter, fourth more milk, and fifth, sorry Paula we don't have any Baguettes left, so basically your breakfast is screwed!
We have 4 hours to kill before airport run. Having to check out by 11am
, we are showered, dressed and ready, but need to fill the
hours. Such a beautiful morning, the clearest, bluest skies, light breezes 31degrees Celsius, we go walking. Capturing a Tuk Tuk driver, we bargain our 1pm
airport transfer for the princely sum of 40,000 kip (£4) and start our walkabout.We discover the local museum, where we are treated to various exhibits from the local state - from clothing to mined minerals and tools from the Neolithic age. The Creme de la creme is the Comrades magnificent victory over the Imperialist Americans, with examples of weapons, dropped weapons abandoned, and toothless old war heroes. Well it only cost $1 to enter, so not so bad and passed half an hour.
We finally found somewhere for Paula to eat breakfast, The Pilgrim's Kitchen, which happens to be less than one block from our hotel, but delivers an excellent oasis. Offering American, Indian, Thai and Mexican Cuisine, a library, air con, discreet tables and loads of local information, travel suggestions, bicycle hire etc, they have perfect English and we are both similarly really, really miffed that we didn't discover this gem earlier. After a tuna/cheese melt and fries, and a purchase of local coffee, beans ground right in front of us, the aroma
of which was amazing, we reflect that perhaps we didn't do justice to this town and surrounding region, anyway, too late for regrets. Back to the hotel by 12.30 to find our Tuk Tuk waiting, not even an acknowledgement from the hotel staff as we leave. Unfortunately, circumstances were against us here in Savannakhet, as the Tourist information Office next door was closed all weekend (we arrived Friday afternoon
and left Monday morning
), and there were lots of potential things that escaped us, sadly. We leave feeling a little cheated.
Arriving at the regional airport of Savannakhet, even smaller than Paphos, we check in, drop off our hold bag and sit in the sun outside until the flight is called.We have good seats and Leo has clear skies the whole 55 minute flight. Looking forward to exploring Lao's Capital City.
Having pre-booked the transfer with our hotel in Vientiane, we sit back and enjoy the limo, an air-conned 20 minute journey, far more traffic, mostly cars, rather than Tuk tuks and mopeds, we check in and are happy with our new accommodation for the next three nights.
We unpack, then do a short reccee of the City, it's small.
We go past the Presidential Palace , the diplomatic quarter , the night life area and the River night Market in just over an hour. But plenty to revisit at leisure during the daylight tomorrow . We by-pass our hotel and settle on a small French Bistro for Dinner, Tango Restaurant, an atmospheric place and very good food. Only a one minute walk home. Amazingly, the couple we chat to are from ...... Guernsey Still a small world!
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