Travel – Vientiane, LAOS

Having been so busy at work prior to my trip I freely admit I did zero research about Laos before arriving.  I didn’t know what the currency was, what the local sights were, how to say hello, what kind of food they eat… nothing!

From the first hour in Laos I fell in love.  The people greet you with big smiles, Vientiane city is small and chilled out with a mixture of french facades, temples, and shanty shacks.  Much cleaner than Hanoi and much more tourist friendly.  We spent our evenings eating sticky rice, getting massages and enjoying Beer Lao long necks over ice while looking out over the Mekong.

Fresh Lao food and produce, perfect with a Beer Lao 🙂

Sunset over the Mekong

On our day off we ventured out to Nam Ngum Dam which is Laos oldest dam and also it’s largest body of water.  We cruised around on the water and enjoyed some fresh fish larb for lunch.  Though the main attraction of the day was the dam, on the way home we drove through a village that was celebrating rocket festival.  The whole point of this festival is to anger the gods so that they bring rain so the locals build car sized rockets and fire them into the sky, all while incredibly drunk, dressed as a woman, smoking a ciggy and occasionally with a child in the other arm.  Hilarious!  We ended up having a few drinks and joining in the festivities before we decided it was getting a tad messy and got the hell out of there before a diplomatic incident could occur.

Rocket Festival celebrations

Nam Ngum Dam

Another highlight of the day was stopping in at Dong Makkhai market, famous for selling dubious types of “meat”.  Unfortunately as most fair found in this market was illegally obtained I wasn’t allowed to get any photos produce varied from squirrals, cockroaches, toads, goanna’s, sparrows to badgers!  This place was such an eye opener.  It’s a shame that the local wildlife is being harmed in this way but considering the poverty in Laos there is not much alternative.

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