It’s been said by me and anyone who visits this quiet area of Laos, that life moves slowly. These are some of the examples:
Men love to pull up their shirt to expose round, squishy, non-segmented bellies, especially during bocce ball time.
Some girls respond favorably to my smile, and others look away. I wish I knew what they talk about.
It’s never hard to find cats chillin’, and that pug had just pulled his blunted nose out of the other dog’s butt.
She was singing a song to the evening and swaying gently. Cute.
Since there were few options for quality Western food in these listless river cities, I ate local. My favorite way to eat local is by asking what is the waitresses’ favorite dish, but English isn’t widely spoken, so I took my chances. Menus usually have three options: rice with various meats, noodles with various meats or fish…with rice or noodles. I’m not complaining, sometimes it’s strange and delicious, but other times you are hungry for specificity, which can lead to frustration. That frustration goes simmering into the sunset when you get a dish like this:
Xoyxuay Restaurant in the courtyard of the Catholic Church in Savannakhet. Outstanding fried noodles and Laos style Pad Thai plus ICE cold BeerLao = pleased customer. (40,000kip 5US$) *Recommended*
Pretty good street food at a crowded restaurant. (15,000kip 2US$)
Good taste, but all fatty pork, with hairy pork skin attached. (40,000kip 5US$)
Delightfully minty and basilly, this is the famous Laap dish of Laos. (28,000kip <4US$)
Perfectly blended, sugar free carrot juice with chocolate ice cream dessert. (20,000kip <3US$)
Although there are many examples of French architecture abounding along the riverside cities of Pakse, Savannakhet, and Thakhek, I tried to find the ones with character, the ones with a personality, lived-in, lived-around, but some were brand new, as Laos inches toward the 21st century with better education and more tourist money. These cities along the Mekong were one to two big streets long and had little to do besides watch sunsets and drink BeerLao.