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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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"Coss definitely has a more adventurous palate than I do"


I think that might be an understatement :)




One dish I can't get enough of is Duck Blood Lahb.


Grown quite fond of this, I have.

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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!



Enjoyed reading the reports - thanks for sharing. No bullshit. My own curiosity hasn't even begun to be dimmed in Bangkok alone, but one day I'll venture out to the countryside and beyond. I hope.


Here's one (a sign) posted not too far from my apartment. :dunno:



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Day 4 (4 December 2012) – Part 1 (due to restriction on number of photos in a post)


In the early afternoon I had a wander around my hotel area and took a few pics.


This is the Nam Phou (fountain) Square which was just a clump of trees and a dirt road when I last visited in January 1999, and actually I think it was better that way! Can't recall if I actually saw the fountain working?




L’Opera Restaurant on the right hand side of the square, presumably the same owners as the famous L’Opera on Sukhumvit Soi 39?




Some other buildings around the square.




Later in the afternoon Coss pitched up and we headed off to visit a couple of the city’s museums.


First was the People's Security Museum, a new impressive looking building in central Vientiane, which was apparently opened on the 5th of April 2011 and was constructed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the public security force (the communist military forces which led the fight against the against the French rule of Laos?).




“The museum is a public place where civil servants, military personnel, policemen, students and general public can learn about history and achievements of the Public Security force".


There was no admission charge just a donation box into which Coss dropped a few Kip. There was also no photography allowed and we were escorted around the museum, presumably to make sure we didn’t take any snaps. However they really needn’t have bothered as there wasn’t anything remotely interesting enough to warrant a photograph.


The museum was on two levels and consisted of very large rooms with walls covered in hundreds (maybe thousands) of old photos of this or that important person or some soldiers at some glorious battle. There were of course other things on display, mostly broken, and all displayed badly, as if they had just been found lying around and stuck in a glass case. One even had an old VCR in it, which probably played a very important part in some glorious victory, however unfortunately there was no information about it to back up my theory. Of course some of the glass cases also contained more photographs!


Although I couldn’t recommend visiting this museum for the interest of its contents it is still probably worth visiting it just to see how bad it is. So bad it’s almost amusing.


Back outside there were a few vehicles on display including this collection of motorbikes, some of which looked like they should still be in use.




Next we visited the Lao People’s Army History Museum, which was just across the road and surely had to be better than the People's Security Museum.



Unfortunately we never got to find out as it was hosting a ceremony of some kind and was closed to the public.


Apparently it contains weapons, tools, and photos of the Lao People’s Army during the revolutionary period from 1950 until the liberation for independence of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975. One things for sure, there’ll be plenty of photos!


Outside the main building there is a collection of different vehicles and war planes that were used during the wars and a statue of some running soldiers.









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You should visit the National Museum of Laos. There is a charge, but it is fascinating in a strange way. Looks a bit like something high school kids would come up with. I was surprised to see a pile of M16A1 rifles just laying there, along with M79 grenade lanuchers. All were rusty, but I'm sure if cleaned up they would work fine. Just grab a few when no one was looking. There were also a few planks from Chairman Hu Flung Dung's "camp bed", plus his pistol lying there and rusting. The displays of scenes of the Plain of Jars looked like 10 years old made them. Old swords from the rebelllion against Thai King Rama III in the 1820s were thrown in heaps too, all rusting away peacefully. Most impressive was a mural of French troops killing Laos and throwing their bodies down wells. I saw almost nothing anti-American, but lots of things against the Froggies. Not much use to ask the guys about things, since they didn't know.

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Day 4 (4 December 2012) – Part 2 (due to restriction on number of photos in a post)


After the deep disappointment of failing to gain entry to the Army Museum we jumped in Coss’ vehicle and headed across town to see That Luang, or the Great Stupa.




There were also a couple of temples nearby so we had a quick gander at them as well.



All this walking around had of course given us a raging thirst so off to the Sunset Bar for a few LBL’s.


The Vientiane remote control flying club hold their weekly meetings just outside the Sunset Bar. Once it got dark the planes, which were all illuminated, made quite a sight.


A couple of young ladies in traditional dress strolling along the river. It's noticeable that most women seem to wear the traditional dress.


We actually had more than a few LBL's and ended up consuming 10 (well it's so relaxing there and you just don't notice the time passing or the collection of empties growing) which, including 3 food dishes, cost us a staggering Baht 1100 inclusive of generous tip!

As we departed we had a look in the Night Club on the ground level. It was dead other than a couple of other customers and a group of girls who were there to talk to customers if invited. We didn’t invite but did stay for a few small Beer Laos (SBL).

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