My Laotian Experience...
Highs: The cleanliness; the kindness of the people; the limestone formations in Vang Vieng; riding
elephants outside of Luang Prabang; shopping in Luang Prabang; monk viewing.
Lows: The lack of time we had in this country; being stupid about not making sure I had a
multiple-entry Vietnam visa.
Best Moment: Being in absolute amazement with Elisa about how wonderful every place in this
country was. We truly enjoyed our elephant experience though.
Craziest Moment: Finding out at the airport while checking in for my Vietnam flight that I didn't
have a Vietnam visa (as the one I had obtained was only a single-entry one - doh!). They were so
sweet and I got one expedited via tuk-tuk in 30 minutes for $85.
Smells: Great smelling food from the night food market.
Sounds: NO car honking (even in the capital city!); 'Saibadee'.
Sights: Wat Si Saket (in Vientiane); Vang Vieng and a couple of its caves.
Tastes: Sticky rice; grilled whole fish; mango fruit shakes; 'kai phen' (LP river weed - or what Elisa
refers to as 'good crap'); 'sin doot' (sundried buffalo meat with lemongrass and sesame seeds); 'jaew
bong' (chili paste with buffalo skin); 'nem tadicu' (fried coconut rice and sour pork salad); 'koille paa'
(minced fish with string bean salad); betel leaf soup; bamboo shoot soup; 'si kry' (steamed stuffed
lemongrass stalk); 'noy maille' (stuffed bamboo shoots); 'sai gua krouaille' (spicy LP buffalo sausage);
'praneng kai' (pulled chicken, minced pork and buffalo skin cooked in coconut milk); 'kranab pa'
(grilled river fish stuffed with pork and herbs wrapped in a banana leaf); steamed purple sticky rice
wtih coconut milk, coconut, sesame seeds and bananas.
Purchases: A t-shirt with Laotian writing; scarves; a wooden jewelry box; a marble carved box;
Street Food: Grilled bananas and sweet potatoes.
Fun Food Finds: Who knew that the Laotian cuisine is so darn good and unique??? Very
different from its neighboring countries!
Western Companies Out Here: I didn't see any.
Other General Info...
Visa needed? Yes. We obtained these at the border crossing for $31 US.
Type of currency? The Laotian Kip. About 9400 kip are equal to $1 US.
Things Laos Is Known For: The kindness of the people; beautiful scenery.