Live from Laos

First thing – many of the faithful readership, when seeing ‘Vientiane’, assume that we are in Viet Nam. A plausible error. Vientiane, however, is the capital of Laos.

While I’m playing Mr. Smarty Pants, the country has a silent ‘S’. Pronounced Lao, as in Mao, without the collar.

Not exactly at RBQ code level

‘Nuff said. Not really. Folks, keep an eye on this place. It will be, in all likelihood, the next Asian hotspot for travel and tourism. It has already started. Laos is a communist country.

Don’t let the hammers and sickles fool you

But in name only. Communism usually prohibits religion and private enterprise. Whether there are more stores or temples around here is anyone’s guess.



The weather is hot without being stifling, the humidity is low, roads well paved, accommodations more than adequate, food plentiful, tasty, varied, and cheap.

The beer, BeerLao, is great. If it weren’t for the abundance of beautiful Asian women, this place would be paradise. And if you get sore or tired, there are a plethora of massage parlours. At $10 for an hour long massage, it is one of the great values on the planet. Be warned – while small and slight, the girls who offer up Lao style massages pack a serious impact. The style here lends itself to some serious tendon stretching, muscle pressure, body twisting and pressure point manipulation. There are probably massages offered as a treatment for the massage. And there are probably other ones offered, too.

Pending the start of our mercy mission, Lori and I have been holed up in a hotel just a stone’s throw from the Mekong River.

Thailand is on the other side.

Rooms, service, views, other guests, all top drawer. We start the volunteer program tomorrow and will be moving to a guest house that will be holding about 18 of us. We met two of the volunteers today. We are trying to preempt a rooming error that has me bunking with someone named Michael and Lori with an Olivia.

I specifically requested Olivia.

Touring has been done mostly on foot as the city’s interesting and historical areas are in relative proximity to our hotel. Terrain is flat and relatively grid-like. The aforementioned temples each possess a unique look and style depending when built, the deity it is associated with, and the funds available at the time of construction. The main drag is a left over from the French occupation. It was designed to emulate the Champs Élysées and even has a version of l’Arc de Triomphe at its center.

The boulevard is named Rue Lane Xang. My Laotion has improved to the point of being able to translate street names. I believe that Rue Lang Xang means ‘New Year’s Eve’. Not positive.

Prior to climbing to the 7th floor observation tower of the landmark, we were accosted by four first year English students, eager to bone up on their conversational skills. Lori and I spent half an hour offering up names, ages, place of origin, preliminary impression of the country, etc.

‘Stupa’fying is how I would term the large stone temples that we have been piloting our way around. These very old and large structures are meant to be walked around in a clockwise direction while reciting ‘Ohm Mani Padme Hum’, or for women ‘ohm Mani Pedi Hum’, right Yeti?

Offering in the shape of the Stupa made from a banana leaf
Sabkai-dee {see you soon}
Offering in the shape of the Stupa made from a banana leaf


  • Cookieman
    Posted at 17:58h, 26 December Reply

    Obviously you are working on getting into the room with Ericka, Jacinta and Elyssa, and Lori is looking forward to spending some quality time with Hung Fun.

  • Bruce Burnett
    Posted at 18:10h, 26 December Reply

    I love you

  • tina
    Posted at 03:08h, 27 December Reply

    Hi! Sounds like another wonderful experience for both of you…knowing about your posts through your email notices – not receiving an notice from blogspot – but it could be me…Still, please keep the posts coming – I really love them – what kind of volunteering are you doing? You are not in massage training are you? xoxoxoxo

  • michael woloz
    Posted at 17:46h, 28 December Reply

    Have not seen a Subscribe button. Has it been easy to avoid fish? Is it true you are opening a bar there?

  • Unknown
    Posted at 20:10h, 31 December Reply

    Beautiful People, Beautiful Place, enjoy – Ron

  • Unknown
    Posted at 20:17h, 31 December Reply

    Beautiful People, Beautiful Place, enjoy – Ron

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