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Published: July 12th 2006
Friendly. It is the only thing that everyone agrees on about Laos, and I wasn't dissapointed. Immigration, Taxi Drivers, Guesthouse staff - they are all really friendly!
After checking into my guesthouse I went out to start one of my favourite activities - sampling the local cuisine. My lunch was Lao Laap - a salad of chillies, minced chicken, beansprouts, lettuce, cucumber, mint and shallots. It was absolutley delicious, and seemed to be very easy to make.
I spent the afternoon running various errands (and having an afternoon nap - shameful!). The rain had turned the unmade roads into a thick red paste, which covered most of the made roads too albeit in a much thinner manner!
I managed to disprove the Lonely Liar and find an international ATM which was very handy given that Id run out of cash and all the banks closed at about 15:30.
At sunset I went down to the Mekong and sampled some of the local Beer Lao. The beer garden was a precariously balanced wooden platform, where everything from the floors to the tables to the safety barrier (to stop pissed laotians falling in the river...) was ridiculously warped. I
was sat there for a few minutes when a random and very camp Lao guy came over and asked me to join him for a drink. I accepted and ended up spending a few hours with the guy, his girlfriend and another couple. One of the men was very drunk but found this very difficult to express in english... which all added up to a very very entertaining evening despite very little common langauge.
I left the beer garden and went for dinner. Thanks to slightly confusing english translations of dishes I (not for the first time on my travels) ended up having the same dish for dinner as for lunch! Ah well - at least it was very yummy!
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