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Sunday, 17 July 2011

A trip to Vientiane. Laos: Vietnam memories 1965 1975

Post 98

A trip to Vientiane. Laos

Around this time I got married. Maybe more on that later. Let's just say a certain KC entered my life. I also had visa problems again so decided to go to Laos.

I nearly didn't get there. Whilst waiting for my flight I was idly looking out of the window of the passenger lounge at Tan Son Nhut airport; an utterly depressing place. Once when a flight had been delayed they gave a meal of sliced spam. I have mentioned earlier that I rather liked it but I would have thought the Vietnamese could have done better. Anyway I saw some passengers walking out to a plane and I glanced at the tail to see what airline. There was an insignia on it which reminded me of something and then it occurred to me it was similar to the Lao Royal Coat of Arms. I rushed down the stairs and found indeed it was my Royal Air Lao flight. I was just able to board in time. Half the seats were taken out to make way for baggage. After an uneventful trip we arrived in Vientiane, my destination.

Vientiane was an easy going place. The Lao were a very easy going people. There was a war going on but if I recollect the other side had an embassy there. It was most surprising to see a flag with a red star and communist guards outside it. I had expected to see lots of old fashioned French Citroens, Renaults and Peugeots. Not at all. The place was full of Japanese cars and Merecedes for the more affluent.

There was one modern hotel where I didn't stay. It was explained to me that when they built the hotel they forgot to install a kitchen. I was also shown the fountain in the centre of town. It didn't work. They had forgotten to lay water pipes to it.

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