Monday, July 16, 2012

Laos, Chilin in Vientiane


After a long overnight train ride from Bangkok, it is time to chill and relax before setting off to explore more of Laos. A visit to an Internet Cafe and the search for one night of accommodation begins in Vientiane.



SAM_2079At Dragon Lodge Guesthouse we inspect a room and for US$10 per night although it is no Holiday Inn Express, we take it.

A nice hot shower and it's time to walk around the town before having an early dinner.



Across the street from Dragon Lodge is The Lao National Cultural Hall which I am excited to visit. However, I am disappointed to discover that there is nothing to see. Apparently, the hall is used only for special events and there are no permanent cultural displays except the building itself.



497Lao National Cultural Hall



045A few steps from That Dam we grab a table at a local restaurant where the menu looks interesting. My first sampling of Beer Lao comes served on “The Rocks” and I love it.

A nice relief from the afternoon heat.





047My second disappointment of the afternoon comes when I learn they are all out of wild boar.

I settle for another order of Pad Thai which turns out to be delicious.






SAM_2082Fried Rice With Nice Chili Peppers On The Side


I'm really taking a liking to the way most food seems to be served in South East Asia, with chili peppers. A complete meal for two, about US$6!

As we are dining a mother and her son are watching us with curiosity. At first, I am sure they are looking for a handout but I am pleasantly surprised that it seems as if they only want to entertain us.


050Interestingly, they follow us as we leave the restaurant for a short stroll to That Dam.






051Turns out they are fun and we figure we would be glad to hang out with these dogs anytime.





Our chilin plans continue with a traditional Lao massage that you can get for less than a Hamilton (US$10). The night then ends on a sweet note with a visit to Jo Ma Bakery Café, a popular hangout for locals and tourists.



057Mango Crumb Cake



056I go to bed with visions of Mango Crumb Cake, Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies and Coconut Layered Tarts dancing in my head.






059Coconut Layered Tart








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