Blogs from Vientiane, West, Laos, Asia


Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 29th 2020

HE SAID... Having checked out of our Vientiane hotel (Family Boutique Hotel) in the mid-afternoon, we shared a light lunch just around the corner at Makphet, the same place we’d lunched the previous day. We were quite taken with the place, as it is a vocational training restaurant for young Laotians, and it is achieving life-changing results. We walked back to the hotel and settled in the lobby for an hour or so, then jumped into a taxi and headed to Wattay International Airport at 6pm. We were leaving Laos. Free face-masks were being handed out by officials at the airport in a half-hearted attempt to protect against the rampant coronavirus that had flared in China in early January. However, the masks really only offered a placebo-induced peace of mind. We were certainly not fully protected, ... read more
vientiane airport
vientiane airport
vientiane airport

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 27th 2020

When you’ve heard it, you must see it; only after you’ve seen it make a judgement with your heart… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were continuing to explore the friendly and peaceful city of Vientiane. We woke late and headed down to the Family Boutique Hotel’s large dining area for a late breakfast. It was the last few days of our Thai-Laotian holiday, and we were focused on relaxing in Vientiane. As was becoming customary on this trip, I enjoyed fresh baguettes and omelettes – my favourite way to start each day in Laos. I also helped myself to cornflakes, toast and jam, excellent coffee, terrible tea and the strange orange cordial that features at every breakfast buffet in the country. After our leisurely breakfast, we shared a jumbo (motorbike with a covered trailer ... read more
pha that luang
pha that luang
pha that luang

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 26th 2020

You know, you teach. You do not know, you learn … ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling south from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. We woke early (5:30am), as we had an early start. We were leaving for Vientiane at 8am, and it was our last destination in Laos. We headed down to Phetchaleun Hotel’s large dining area at 7am, where I helped myself to a fresh baguette, omelette, tea, coffee and the ubiquitous orange cordial that our Laotian hosts always offered in the morning. With breakfast complete, we loaded our packs into a minibus and made our way out of Vang Vieng. Within minutes we were speeding towards Vientiane, hitting every conceivable pothole on the way – the roads in Laos are not in the best of condition. At first the terrain was ... read more
iced coffees
khao soi
khao piak sen

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane October 12th 2019

October 12 – I slept a little better last night with earplugs. Our guy on the megaphone or microphone was out again this morning until almost 7am, and construction (more demolition) was happening on the building next door well before 7am, but I didn’t notice most of it. Becky and I headed down for fried noodles and fried rice for breakfast, respectively, at 7:30 and back up at 8am to finish packing. I paid the hotel bill and we were down just before 9am to wait for the minivan to pick us up. When it didn’t show by 9:10, we asked at the desk. He asked if I bought the ticket at the hotel, I said yes, and he phoned them for me. At least he tried – his phone did not seem to be connected ... read more
View from hotel room in Vang Vieng
View from hotel room in Vang Vieng
Vientiane hotel

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane July 4th 2019

After recently finishing up my year as a teacher in Hong Kong, I was excited (yet trepidatious) to dive in to my next adventure. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I arrived in Laos. I've never travelled by myself, until now. Some of my friends recommended that I get jabs before I left - I didn't listen. I imagined the worst possible scenarios in my head - food poisoning, malaria, infected insect bites (again). In all honesty, I was scared. Most people who know me know that my sense of direction is pretty much zero, so I was about 99.7 percent certain that I'd get lost at some point too. I arrived 2 days a go. Sleep deprived, hungover, dazed and confused. I managed to haggle a taxi to the hostel for 60000 Kip ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane April 5th 2019

ET L’ENVIRONNEMENT DANS TOUT CA ??? Arrivée à Vientiane, capitale du Laos. C’est l’heure de la sieste, dimanche après-midi. Les rues sont désertées. La ville étant déjà plus que tranquille habituellement, c’est aujourd’hui l’assoupissement général. Il fait une chaleur de gueux, soleil impitoyable, au zénith il laisse peu de possibilités d’ombre, plus de 40 degrés au réel, 153° en ressenti ! Au moins… Si le réchauffement climatique atteint ces parages, force les limites, et il n’y a pas de raison au contraire, je crains les dégâts. Il a toujours naturellement fait très chaud dans ces pays à certaines saisons. Les saisons sont au nombre de deux, saison sèche chaude ou très chaude, pendant laquelle il peut pleuvoir, et saison des pluies, également chaude ou très chaude, pendant laquelle il peut pleuvoir beaucoup. Je me retourne sur ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 20th 2019

This morning we are up early. I could have done with another hour in bed but we need to be up and about before the sun gets too hot. We make our way to the bike hire shop. They want our passports as security. Fortunately our hotel isn’t far away so Ian is dispatched. :-) Bikes secured, we pedal our way up to the victory monument, Patuxai. This square, concrete monument has the look of a miniature triumphal arch. It commemorates the Lao who died in the pre-revolutionary wars and was built with concrete given by the USA to build a new airport, hence its nickname ‘vertical runway’. Patuxai is approached via a large dual carriageway which was practically under construction and little used on our last visit. Whilst the traffic here is not what would ... read more
Pha That Lung
Sunset on the Mekong

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane January 19th 2019

We are awoken to an announcement on the tannoy - we just catch the tail end which is telling us not to leave any of our belongings on the train. It’s only 5am so it can’t be our stop yet. It turns out to be Khon Kaen, so nowhere near...the conductor had told us 6am for our stop, though our tickets say 6.45am. Anyway, it looks like we’re all awake now and there’s a bit of a queue for the loos. Oh well, I suppose I might as well get dressed. There are three loos and two wash basins at the end of each carriage so I don’t have to wait long. It’s 8am and we have arrived at Nong Khai - the end of the line. Those of us left on the train all appear ... read more
Ugly mug
Statue on the Mekong
Presidential Palace

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane November 2nd 2018

Our first stop was the Pha That Luang which is a gold-covered large Buddhist stupa in the center of the city of Vientiane, Laos. It is believed the stupa dates back to the 3rd century, but has been destroyed and rebuild many times. It is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national symbol.... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vientiane November 2nd 2018

Our second stop was Patuxai also called Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph. This is a war monument in the center of Vientiane, that resembles the French Arc de Triomphe. It was built between 1957 and 1968. It initially was dedicated to those who fought in struggle of independence from France. it has Laotian design, decorated with mythological creatures such as the kinnari which is half-female, half-bird.... read more

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