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Post 286: Vientiane ... Laos

Thai Consulate Vientiane .. take a ticket … take a seat .. enjoy the wait. Well, it’s done now, a shiny new 60 Day Thai visa in my about to expire passport. Not such good planning then.
Sitting beside the Mekong River, or "The Red Mekong" as they call it here, Vientiane seems almost as much a part of olden-day France as it does a part of modern-day Asia. Unlike Thailand, here they drive on the Right and the streets are ‘Rue’ and not ‘Soi’ but the language is essentially Isan and therefore the same as North Eastern Thailand. Café Society, Al Fresco dining on the banks of The Mekong … except they’ve moved the banks of the river. Land reclamation. A sign announces the development of a Public Park for the good people of Laos, but the plans suggest 10% Public Park and 90% Private Enterprise … mai pen rai

During the day, heavy machinery moves sand and cement from one part of the area to another creating a cloud of dust that shrouds the City. Water is then added and allowed to seep into the mixture. As the sun begins to set, scooters arrive towing trailers laden with restaurant equipment and the building site becomes a heaving throng of restaurants. Nobody seems to mind the dust or the compromised views, everybody just settles down and eats local food washed down with local beer, BeerLao …. quite delicious.

No disrespect to Laos, but if anybody is thinking of visiting here, then I’d personally leave it a year until it’s finished. The BeerlLao certainly helps remove the dust from the back of your throat and it’s really all quite quirky, but like any development area, it’ll be far nicer when it’s finished. Having said that, I commented in the last Post that nothing in Vientiane ever seemed to be finished … mai pen rai

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