My stomach woes have continued into the evening so rather than eat some Laos cuisine (Dog, Frogs or whatever they serve up!) I have decamped to the net cafe… (All the guidebooks said it would be slow but i suppose 18 months is a long time in Telecommunications – its pretty fast and 200 Kips = 2 US Cents a minute)
First impressions of Laos? Well it doesnt seem as imposing as arriving in Cambodia did although the airport road has the same feel. (Slightly crazy driving without any lanes and animals, bike, houses, people scattered around randomly). I arrived in a pleasant square with a Scandinavian Bakery and found my guesthouse easily. It’s $4 a night! (although very basic just fan in room but clean).
So i strolled along the riverside and had a tea, the whole place had a very quiet air to it (Maybe its Saturday) but the centre only has a population of 200,000 (600,000 in environs) so its possible just the way it is. I just strolled around taking in the french influences. Coffee Shops, Wine Shops and the street sellers selling (tongue twister?) Baguettes (No!).
Then I went to the National Museum (previous the Revolutionary Museum) – this is such a funny place. It starts off with the history of the world (Dinosaurs made from cardboard) and seems to quickly skip to the French colonizations (The enemy invaders). They call the Americans the invading army and their puppets. Lots of graphic photos of injuries and bombs.
Then there are about 5 rooms of Laos today (Pictures of bridges, power stations and the like – very amusing!) and a shop selling pretty much nothing useful. And hundreds of photos of party conferences.
The place is really relaxing despite being a capital city – Looking forward to going to some more remote places for some R+R.
Laos Foot Massages appear to be a lot more painful than the Thai equivalent (My massage count = 4) but still very nice. Unfortunately I havent eaten anything since breakfast which will hopefully mean I can hire a bicycle tomorrow and explore..