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10 Days In The Kingdom Of Laos

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OK, got a bit of time on my hands so I'll give this another shot.   Day 1 (1 December 2012)   Took TG570 from Swampy to Vientiane, arriving at about 1pm. You have to apply for a visa on arrival so

Munchie / Coss -   This post is the main reason I'm still on this forum.   Coss - I really would love to come up there for a few days. I'll PT (private topic) you to work out the details.   Che

Day 2 (2 December 2012) As promised Coss was at my hotel at 8.30am and surprisingly a bleary eyed Munchie was ready and waiting! We then went to pick up MLGBF and MLGBF’ sister and then hea

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Day 2 (2 December 2012)

As promised Coss was at my hotel at 8.30am and surprisingly a bleary eyed Munchie was ready and waiting!

We then went to pick up MLGBF and MLGBF’ sister and then headed for Lao Zoo. Lao Zoo is strangely located about 65km outside Vientiane, in what appears to be the middle of knowhere, and due to the state of the roads took over 1.5 hours to get there.

On the way we stopped at a road side market, as Coss wanted to see if there were any endangered animals for sale. He advised me not to take my camera as if the vendors saw it they would hide anything suspicious, however the market hadn’t really got going so there was nothing much to see.

Although the drive was quite long it was great to see some of the countryside and a collapsed bridge!


We arrived at the zoo at about 10.30am and spent a few hours there. Surprisingly good zoo, I’ve seen a lot worse in richer more developed countries. Plenty of room for improvement but I’m sure they would if they had the funds.


No surprise, plenty of crocodiles.


Apparently in Laos this is a Tiger?!


No that's not his tongue!


We then headed back to Vientiane and stopped on the way for a river lunch, i.e., lunch on a boat while taking a trip up the river and back. Good company, good food and a few Beer Laos to wash it down made for a very pleasant afternoon and all for about Baht 900. Although I did struggle trying to sit cross legged on the boat deck while eating and drinking at the same time.


By the time we got back from the river trip it was quite late in the afternoon so Coss decided we’d leave the Buddha park until another day and we headed back to Vientiane.

However we did stop at the market again and this time it was busy.


Anyway I decided to take my camera with me, so we had a wander around the outside first and I took a few pictures with no fuss.


There was a large pile of these blue dishes containing small fish, frogs, a few leaves and assorted creepy crawlies, both dead and alive. Probably make a nice stir fry.


However as soon as we started looking around inside, and even though I wasn’t holding or pointing my camera, quite a few vendors moved quickly to cover some of their merchandise, including assorted furry animals and a leg of something. So we don’t know what they were covering but presumably they probably shouldn’t have been selling whatever it was.

That evening I was left to my own devices so went out for a wander, a bite to eat and a few drinkies. Inevitably I ended up at Bor Pen Yang, which I suppose is Vientianes most high profile farang bar. You need to be fit to get there though as it’s on the top floor of a four or five storey building!

I was expecting it to be a seedy dump but actually it’s a good looking, well appointed bar (I'll post pics later as limited to number of pics in a post).


It was quiet when I arrived but picked up later, although I think it closed at midnight (as I said before Vientiane isn’t a late night town). As the place got busier a few local lasses started to show up and one thing I noticed about them all was how well dressed they were, so perhaps they don’t want to look like hookers when outside the bar.

Anyway after a couple of LBL's, a couple of G&T’s and a cheeseburger and fries (all for Baht 460) I headed home.


I was approached by a few lasses on my walk back to my hotel, including a girl on a motorbike who offered to take me back to her place (taking girls back to hotels is I believe illegal, although it probably depends on where you are staying) but declined them all (politely of course).

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So you didn't get 'Laid In Laos'? No 'Mongering on the Mekong'?


Great TR though, very readable and excellent pics.


Thanks radioman,


Nope, no mongering, but then I knew that long before I arrived.


As for the TR there are still 8 days to go, prepare to yawn!

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Sua is a generic term for a big cat, if that is what it said. Sua lai is a tiger. Of course, in a Lao zoo they might not bother to distinguish.




The sign definitely said Tiger but can't remember if it included the latin name as well, still it's not the first sign they got wrong!


Anyway it's a leopard, although not a clouded leopard.

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Day 3 (3 December 2012)

Day 3 was a very quiet lazy day, however Coss did pick me up mid afternoon and we hit the Buddha Park that we’d planned to go to the previous day.


“Xieng Khuane Buddha park is a sculpture park located 25 km southeast from Vientiane near the Mekong River. The park contains over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues and was started in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, who was a priest-shaman who integrated Hinduism and Buddhism.

The statues are made of reinforced concrete and are ornate, and sometimes bizarre, in design. The statues appear to be centuries old, though they are not. There are sculptures of humans, gods, animals and demons and numerous sculptures of Buddha, characters of Buddhist beliefs like Avalokitesvara, and characters of Hindu lore, including Shiva, Vishnu and Arjuna. These sculptures were presumably cast by unskilled workers under the supervision of Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. One notable sculpture resembles a giant pumpkin. It has three stories representing three levels – Hell, Earth and Heaven and visitors can enter through an opening which is a mouth of a 3m tall demon head and climb staircases from hell to heaven. Each story contains sculptures depicting the level. At the top, there is a vantage point where the entire park is visible. Another sculpture, an enormous 120-metre-long (390 ft) reclining Buddha, is also a park attraction.â€








After a wander around this interesting even bizarre park we headed back into Vientiane and a Lao Korean restaurant that Coss had recommended.

We were quite early so not a lot of customers, although it was fairly busy by the time we left.


Coss did the ordering and this is what we received.


Basically two plates of meat with an egg on top, assorted veggies, glass noodles, sauces, broth to cook the veggies in and fat to cook the meats.

I’m sure everyone is familiar with this type of ‘cook your own food dining’ but in case not let me explain. There is a hole in the middle of the table which holds a charcoal burner and on top of the burner sits a sort of ‘sombrero shaped’ metal cooking vessel. Broth is put in the lower part of the sombrero and this is used to cook the veggies, noodles and eggs and the fat is placed on the top of the sombrero and once it has started to melt and run down the sides the meat is cooked on it and also the fat and juice of the meat run into the broth to further flavour it. Simples.


One of the meat dishes was clearly bacon but the other had a rather unpleasant pasty pink look about it and did not look very appetizing. Coss explained that it was cow breast, i.e., cows udder! From then on I hogged the bacon (no pun intended) and left the udder to Coss who clearly enjoys the stuff. I did try the udder but after about 5 minutes chewing one piece I discretely spat it out.

Although I like to think I can eat most things Coss definitely has a more adventurous palate than I do.

Of course the food was washed down with numerous LBL’s.

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