It’s been a bit, hasn’t it? I ‘m still in Laos. I’m still feeling beyond grateful that my boss and friends all insisted I take this vacation. Nothing about Vientiane, Laos is very spectacular. It is peaceful. Relaxed. Even quieter than Thailand, the exact antithesis of my Bangkok lifestyle, but still a city. And that is exactly what I needed – some space. Some stillness. Some distance from the hustle and cheery bustle they crowds in as I rush to catch the next train.
This is a country previously colonized by the French, and it shows in the quiet streets and Gothic arches…The cafe’s serving delicious French pastries and Chilean wine.
In a way it is a tourist destination, but only if your idea of a vacation includes riding a bike along the Mekong river, drinking beer late at night on a rooftop bar (but not too late, the bars close at 11 or 12), where the only music is the cover songs of a teenage -hopeful and her friends on guitar. Maybe wandering to a steam room and taking an hour long massage for $6. Perhaps sleeping in because the sleepy city will wait to wake up with you at 9 or 11 am, if you’d like. Puttering about a night market where women and men sell their handpainted wares, cheerfully bartering the price while we are grateful the heat has passed and the cool of the evening breeze plays with our hair. This isn’t s refined city, but it is gracious and kind. This isn’t a city for hard partiers, but the foreigners form fast friendships and look after one another. In the end, that’s all you need for a fantastic evening, isn’t it?
If that’s what you want in a vacation, Vientiane is the perfect destination.