Flight from KL to Vientiane took ~3 hours, touched down at Wattay International Airport. a bit after 5pm. We felt the intense heat as we disembarked from the plane. Passing through immigration was a breeze, we had to fill up a health declaration card and walked passed the temperature detector.
At the taxi counter, we paid USD6 to get to our guesthouse which was close to Fa Ngum Road- the journey took about 15 minutes. We seemed to pass a temple every few yards !
We had reserved a room at Saysouly Guesthouse www.saysouly.com via e-mail. Our room with twin beds and private bathroom was @ USD15/ night , for same kinda room with shared bathroom @USD11/night. The room is air conditioned, with water heater, TV ( CNN, BBC, HBO , Thai and local channels etc) and minibar. Basic amenities like towels, soap and toilet rolls were provided. Cleanliness was acceptable.
The location of the guesthouse was rather good, within walking distance to some touristy spots, very good access food, transportation ( tuk-tuks are everywhere).we walked down the street into Fa Ngum Road
Fa Ngum road faced the Mekong River, but we only got to see some tractors on the river bank as work is in progress for the construction of a 3km long, 14.5 hectare riverside park – Chao Anouvong Park
A Lao postbox and a tuktuk in the background
We walked passed Wat Chanthabouli and as the main gate was still open we ventured into the temple.
A novice was standing nearby and spoke to us in English, asking us where we were from. A few novices were sitting under the trees talking and playing with the dogs, 2 novices were seen sweeping the temple grounds
All that walking about made me hungry !Dinner time ! There were so many choices. Sushi, Tex-Mex, Indian, Middle Eastern, Local and umm..even Malaysian !
We decided to go local. HC opted for Pad Thai and I ordered a Chicken Laab with sticky rice.
Pad Thai (15,000 kip = RM6) - stir fried noodles in sweet sauce, HC commented that it tasted a bit weird in the beginning but then was rather enjoyable after a few mouthfuls.( we had a short blackout when the noodles were served- this explains the presence of the candle)
Laap , this is a Lao dish – with is made up of minced meat, cooked with herbs plus some vegetable. The chicken laap (18,000kip) that I had , came with 7 fiery looking chili padi on top. Potent lahh. There were finely cut chicken pieces plus a lot of raw looking diced long beans, basil and maybe some other unidentifiable herbs in the laap. Had to order the sticky rice separately ( 5,000 kip). Taste wise- there was a tinge of spiciness and the basil enhanced the taste but otherwise I find it a bit bland. The sticky rice was not warm and some of the grains were rather hard. Recipe for laap click here