I don’t have a lot to say about Laos that is good so I will keep this short. The second half of the trip to Luang Prabang and Vientiane has put such a bad taste in my mouth, I’m not interested in this country anymore.
I’m not even talking about the steady, sometimes heavy rain we had the first three days in LP. That happens, you deal with it, and we did, finding seven hours on our second day to pack in as much touring as possible. There really wasn’t that much to see, however, except a waterfall bursting at its seems at least a half-hour south of the city on bad roads.
The Lao temples we saw were either in serious disrepair or just plain average. When you’ve been to Thai temples, most everything else is ordinary. A boat trip across the flooding Mekong River to see a string of temples sounded interesting, but what you found was very disappointing.
Lao food is not much better. Typically bland. Much the same ingredients as in Thailand (except the spices) but not as tasty. We did find one restaurant that served up some delicious selections but, generally with the Lao restaurants the food was uninspiring.
And then there was the mango shake.
You don’t use local Lao water, unboiled, in tourist drinks. You just don’t. But they did. End of vacation for me. Three days in bed. Vientiane a waste of time, although my traveling partner did take some photos of Trat Luang (below), about the only temple complex I missed on my visa run to Vientiane two years ago.
And then there was the confrontation with AirAsia over baggage fees, occurring while I was still feverish and nauseous (see ‘Something to Remember‘)
Next year, my travel will probably be inside Thailand, maybe Chiang Mai or a beach area not overcome by tourists.
Here’s a look at what we saw, with most of the Vientiane photo credits going to Sunanthra Sikaeo.