July 31, 2005

impressions of laos

i really liked it.

this is a country i'll have to go back to. we spent a really short time here, most of it sick in pakse, but i still really liked it.
the capital city, vientiane, is really more of an overgrown town than a city. when we got there on sunday afternoon it was dead. we went wandering to find a resturant to have dinner and everyone was out on siesta (or something.) we eventually found a beer garden where we killed time till one of the resturants we were interested in trying opened up again. it seems this way with most the "cities" in laos.
the people in laos are really friendly and helpfull. in general people didn't lie to us to try and make a buck, or grosly overcharge us for things.
since we were there in the beginning of the rainy season the country was really lush and green. it seems they have an infinate number of waterfalls around. in vientiane there are some tour companies that can arrange for hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing trips to different areas of the country. (the only problem with laos is that you can't really explore the back country on your own since like cambodia they have a large problem with UXO, aka Unexploded Ordinace. seems the US dropped LOTS of bombs on laos and about 1/3 of them didn't explode. the country was also mined pretty heavily and you really don't wouldn't want to stuble over some of this stuff.)
i think it'd be really great to go back there sometime after the rainy season (when it's cool) for two to four weeks to explore the country further.

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