Selfie stick composition after a night out.
Well, the tubing didn't pan out. I talked to people who had done it and decided that it wasn't for me, or indeed any of the people I'm with.It's nothing more than a glorified pub-crawl. You get your tube and drift down to a nearby bar. Here you are served Lao whisk(e)y, not something that really appeals. After an hour, you get back in the tube and proceed to the next bar. The staff are the same people, who presumably can run faster than the current and the whole sordid thing starts again. There are five bars in total.
Must say, the place was quite pleasant and very relaxing. Spent three days doing nearly nothing, just recharging the batteries and recovering from a pizza-induced stupor.
View from the hostel.
Am now in Vientiane, the Little known Capital of Laos. Arrived yesterday afternoon, but haven't really seen much of it yet as the temperature is ridiculous. Just walked a few metres to get a fruit shake and decided that my sightseeing will have to wait until later in the day. I don't think that I've ever experienced heat like this. A guy who lives here was telling me that it really is freak weather for this time of the year, when it should be raining. It just hasn't happened yet.
The little I have seen is rather interesting; very French colonial, with wide boulevards, it reminds me of Paris. There even seem to be more Francophones here. The hostel is very comfortable and even has a swimming pool, so I'll have a go at a bit more lazing around for a day or two, as the weather forecast is for more of the same.
SE Asian electricity.
Finally ventured out at about four and hadn't gone very far when I came upon a French restaurant. It was twice the average price, but was serving something that I've been dreaming about recently: Steak au poivre. The food all over Asia has been excellent, apart from the huge quantities of rice, a vegetable of which I'm not over fond. It came with a good salad and gratin dauphinois and a really good pepper sauce; a bit strange for this heat, but somehow comforting.
Yet another temple.
I also had my first glass of wine since leaving France. Was in a mini-market and noticed that they sold Vin de Pays D'Oc, my local tipple. It was relatively expensive and not the best, but again fulfilled a craving for things familiar.
As I was walking down the street, a woman approached and started talking to me. At first, I was a little suspicious, expecting yet another sales pitch. In fact she was someone who is genuinely interested in people. Just to interrupt to say that someone has put some 'music' on the sound system. It sounds like a washing machine full of bricks accompanied by someone tone deaf playing the kazoo.
The kids of today......
Anyway, I got chatting to this lady and went and had a drink. She told me of places to visit and offered to show me around. Her name is Kimot and she works as a junior school teacher. Am going out of town for a day or two, but will call her when I get back and hopefully, get to meet some more locals.
Still deciding where to go next. Everyone tells me that Myanmar (Burma) is a must see, especially at the moment, as it's just starting to get its tourist industry going. In five years it will be very different. I also want to spend more time in Thailand, which is possibly a better choice as the next destination, as I discovered that the border is only 1km away.
For the moment I'm getting templed out. There are temples everywhere here. The sight of monks has lost any photographic appeal as, obviously, you can't have Buddhist temples without monks. Everywhere I've been, most homes have little shrines. There are some however, who are less respectful.