10 Dec 2007 | Left to fend

Naked children

In Vientiane, it's the same old, same old. HDN was supposed to have booked a room for us in Vientiane, but that has proven to be unsuccessful. Turns out that a 'booking confirmation' was actually a message saying the credit card used, had bounced. I ended up having to pay the room myself, HDN being unable to pay directly from Thailand.

Surprisingly, prices of food and accommodation seem to be more expensive than in Thailand. Then again, maybe that's just because of the French influence. Being French and colonial, can you really dine without table silver, good wines and even better tables and chairs? Or then again, the higher prices are more likely the result of less competition in the tourist sector and a strong separation of the tourist industry with the regular economy. In Chiang Mai, I get my coffee from coffee shops where the Thai get their coffee. I get breakfast, lunch and, regularly, dinner, at places where Thai get their food too. In Laos, it seems to be hard to eat and drink where the Lao eat and drink, hence the higher tourist prices.
And an important industry it is, the tourist industry. Just getting an entry visa for Laos costs 36 dollars, although that's nothing compared to what non-Europeans now have to pay for a visa to the US, around 130 dollars.

Laotian food is surprisingly good, dare I say better than Thai. Khai paen is dried river weed, fried in seasoned oil, topped with sesame seeds and served with jaew bawng, a thick condiment made with chillies and dried buffalo skin. Very tasty.
Laap is a very nice spicy salad from minced fish, mixed with fish sauce, small shallots, mint leaves, lime juice, roasted ground rice and chillies. And that's just two dishes.

Tagged with: HDN Laos tourism Vientiane

Naked children Women with sarongs crossing Girl with umbrella Nam Khan river Nam Khan river Take me to the bridge Five makes one Crossing Shell Slippers Drying patties Hanging out the dirty laundry Killer knives Happy monktime Cushioned buddha The dead buddhas Bring !Holiday Buddhist Taking care Nam Khan  river Fancy camera, for a monk Funny kratongs The black hand Hanging out to dry Monk Calling Mr. Monk Royal Palace Museum

About

  • Me

After obtaining an M. Sc in maths, Babak Fakhamzadeh started with an office job at a major blue chip company but soon realised he'd do better on his own. Babak is a traveling web guru with a penchant for doing good and a love for visual and experimental art. Together with Eduardo Cachucho, he won the World Summit Award in the m-Tourism and Culture category in 2012 for Dérive app. With Ismail Farouk, he won the Highway Africa new media award in 2007 for Soweto Uprisings . com. Check out Babak's CV.

Contact

Babak is currently in Brasil.
+55 219 6557 5388 (Brasil)

July/August 2014

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