After traveling through Indonesia with my parents, I regrouped in Thailand for a few days before taking a bus north to Laos. I've wanted to go to Laos for a few years, ever since someone told me I looked like I was from Laos. At the time, I thought "Either that is an incredibly random guess, since I've never even met someone from Laos to compare my looks to, OR they are really well traveled and I look like I'm from Laos!"
Turns out, it was an incredibly random guess. I don't look Laotian. BUT it's a beautiful country full of lovely people, and they have bread. REAL BREAD! Proper, crusty, delicious, French breads. I can't comment on the other impacts of French colonialism here, but I do like French bread and the French cafes all over town have kept me well carb-ed.
I had to stop by the Vietnam embassy to get a visa, which processed in about 7 hours for an exorbitant amount of money ($70?? The visa on arrival, available only at airports, is $20!), and biked around town with Uly. He's loving Laos as well, and may end up staying here after I head to Vietnam. Go figure... there's no ocean, but the Mekong River is pretty big...
Observations thus far:
1. They drive on the right side of the street! Literally! It's actually disorienting to drive on the same side of the road as at home, since I've been on the left-hand side for so long.
2. Beerlao is delicious. Best beer (thus far) in SE Asia.
3. Parents, I don't know if I'll need help with bail in Laos if this is any indication:
|Oops, I barely made it over the border before I was caught.|
|National Culture Hall|
|Delicious hot latte... $2 and SO GOOD!|
|Mekong River. I guess it's dry season.|
|Hard to see in the photo, but there were fishermen waist-deep in the river|
|The traffic is so orderly! Look, everyone's going the same direction.|
|World Peace Gong, OH MY GOSH!|
|The fountain started as we were walking around and made this MUCH prettier|