Quickie Trip To Vientiane
Posted 04 April 2018 - 17:48
This was a trip of necessity but I’ll definitely go back, this time out of interest, and I’ll be more on the lookout for “options”! The tuk tuk boys I engaged in conversation all suggested Vientiane plaza, though of course it’s hard to know if that’s just their set up. Otherwise it’s just a nice place to chill for a few days and do the tourist thing. Oh and then there’s Beer Lao, on tap no less, who woulda thunk they’d make one of the regions best beers even better. The Thais are missing a trick not getting that on open sale here.
Shit Happens In Thailand. It's a recursive acronym.
Posted 04 April 2018 - 22:03
Nasiadai is correct about the laws regarding taking a girl to your room, the laws still exist. Though no one has been prosecuted in about 10 years or so. That being said, the law will still be raised, if one finds oneself in the unfortunate position of having to confront the police. A big instant fine will fix that.
But as far as I am aware, in the tourist areas, there are many blind eyes, to cohabitation that is not too flagrant and blatant.
There are numerous, late twenties, early thirties, 'good' girls who would dearly love, to encounter a foreigner of means, though that could end up in marriage...
Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:04
But a few years the PRC more or less forced the PDR Laos to accept over 100,000 young single Chinese men as residents. The PRiCs are obviously planning to make Laos their own, and before long will no doubt be claiming it has really been theirs all along, just like Tibet and the "South China Sea". (Why isn't it the North Philippines Sea or the East Vietnamese Sea?")
Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:12
MLG, at one point was being wooed by a Chinese Software guy. But fate delivered her a Kiwi.
Posted 05 April 2018 - 02:44
I worked with a Lao refugee (now a citizen of Oz) whose family fled early in the commie years, since they were a likely target because her school teacher father's older brother had been connected to the royal government. She told me she remembered seeing the NVA soldiers marching through her town on the way to seize the capital, each one of them with his bag of rice slung over his shoulder. Under the PL government, there was a new flag (the communist party banner) and a new anthem, but what struck her most was that the radio each morning broadcast the national anthem of Hanoi before the new commie anthem. She asked her father why they were playing another country's anthem. It was very clear from the beginning who was in charge.
p.s. Your Mrs got lucky.
Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:06
Shit Happens In Thailand. It's a recursive acronym.
Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:48
Many times recently when there with mates no issue taking a friend back. However about 15 years ago after a number of meetings and dates a mate took a girl back to our hotel and at 2am we was woken up and interagated on what the relationship was. My wife had to interview and suggest it was a permanent girlfriend.
Turns out in the morning the girl was a virgin and had never seen a razor blade.
They didn't get married.
A good Laos family friend campaigning against some of the excesses of the government and China disappeared.
It's not as nice as it once was.
To me the best time was 20-10 years ago when the river side was a dirt road and tiny bars overlooking the river.
There is a great series of books about a "Dr Siri" by Colin Cotterill.
Good books, better than the average Bangkok authors. Funny I can remember some of the characters based on real people and places now gone in Vientiane.
Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:46
I was in the old Wiengchan (fuck the Froggies and their garbled spelling) just months before the commie takeover. There was a coalition government at the time, and the Pathet Laos had a camp and marched armed patrols through the city (to show off their presence, I presume). They were nasty little fellows who wore Chinese style uniforms and never smiled at anyone. Wave at them and they might flip you the bird or throw stones at you. I saw a Brit tourist try to take a photo of their camp, and the guard locked and loaded his AK47 and pointed it straight at his chest. Everyone else was friendly though, except for one grumpy Viet shop owner I met who made sure you know he was from Hanoi and wanted none of that Saigon stuff. (His wife locked quite embarrassed by his rants.)
The nightlife was in a row of small shops that appeared to be restaurants. In fact, they were knocking shops that also served food. It cost the equivalent of 30 baht for ST. I remember one very cute girl who said she was from Nong Khai but that the business was better on the Laos side of the river. Most of the shops seemed to be run by Vietnamese mamasans, and you could tell that by the two photos invariably displayed on the wall ... one of King Sawang Wattana and the other of RVN Predisent Nguyen Van Thieu.
It was a sleepy little city back then, much more so than nowadays. Pedal samlors were the way to get around, but the commies soon ban them as "not fitting" the image of a nation's capital. For lunch, I liked a little restaurant run by a Frenchie, where you could order a Vietnamese meal and a glass of wine for not much money. There was also a semi-permanent community of western hippies who were they for the opium dens (4 baht for an opium pipe). Some of them told me they'd teach in Japan for 3 months a year to make enough to live the other 9 months in Wiengchan. Prices were cheaper than Thailand, plus the kip didn't come in such ridiculously large denomination. I think it was about 40 kip to the baht then, and you could have a nice meal for a few baht.
The small French population could almost never speak Lao, and they refused to speak English. But back then every Lao school kid studied French in school, so why should the French learn Lao?
Tastes seem to have changed. I remember the usual breakfast consisted of a baguette and a mug of Ovaltine. Last time I was there, I didn't see any Ovaltine. Now they drink coffee. Plus the war memorial is no longer in a traffic circle and has been renamed the Patu Xai, as if the commies had won a great victory. In fact, it was paid for with USAID money and was dedicated to the Lao dead of all wars. The Pathet Lao have done their share of rewriting history, making the monarch who founded the kingdom a great hero with a big statue, and conveniently overlooking the fact that they killed off the last royal family.
Posted 05 April 2018 - 05:08
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