We spent two days and two nights at Vientiane. The hotel proved satisfactory, the owner, Air, very nice. There was a bit of a problem with mosquitoes (dengue fever and malaria spring to mind, I’m not medicated) and a pungent sewer smell in the bathroom, but nothing we couldn’t handle for 4€/person a night. The water was warm, the linen clean enough, as promised, there were plenty of functional power outlets, and the WiFi worked, at least during the day. What more could we ask for?
The town itself was something of a one horse affair. It was pleasantly chill, the streets were not congested, there were pleasantly few scooters and nobody really used the horn. The central area could be traversed in twenty minutes on foot, there was no need to take cabs or tuk-tuks. There were plenty of restaurants and bakeries, the latter especially pleasant, thanks to the years of French domination. We tried Lao cuisine, but it was a bit of a fiasco, we got recommended dishes that were practically drowning in ginger. Have you ever chewed up a chunk of ginger the size of a cherry tomato? You’ll swear off the stuff for the rest of your life if you ever do. Besides, after masticating the first chunk you won’t be able to taste anything else, it robs the sense of taste as effectively, if not more so, as chili.
We visited a few temples, but were already overtempled to begin with, and frankly all those wats and stupas are pretty identical. Then we just ambled about, ate a little, looked at the dried up Mekong, girly wrote some report thingy for her uni, and I read books. There was nothing much to do, I guess, but that was ok. We could have visited the People’s Museum, but didn’t feel like it. Vientiane was enjoyable enough as it is, a pleasant town, with cheap food and accommodation.