Vientiane Day 2 – of Palace, Street sights and dinner

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Sights
Tags: , , , , ,

Exiting Wat Si Saket, we came to the Presidential Palace – a grand grey mansion with a classical French facade.  From a www search ( sorry forgot which website ) –It was originally built to house the French colonial governors, and also served as a royal residence during the brief reign of the monarchy after independence. Since the royal family was banished in the 1970s, it is now mainly used for formal ceremonies. The Presidential Palace is not open to the public.

 

View of Laos’s  Arc de Triomphe – Patuxai,  from the Palace

 

More walking and again, energy level was getting rather low, and we decide to stop at a cafe for some a drink .  I had ciku ( sapodilla) shake and HC had pineapple, each costing 5,000 kip

After that sugar fix, we continue out journey. Sights we saw along the way…

Red means stop

 

There are a lot of dogs in Vientiance,  i think people of Laos love their dogs, we see them in the shops,  at the restaurants, on the streets…

 

An interesting sign outside a building

 

 we came to That Dam probably the most holy roundabout ?

Excerpts from Lonely Planet :-  Known as the ‘Black Stupa’, many locals believe this mythological structure was once inhabited by a seven-headed dragon (now dormant) that stood to protect the city from the threat of the Siamese. Another tale that does the rounds says that the gold that once graced the surface was taken when the Siamese army ransacked Vientiane back in 1828.

 

A water fountain , no water one ? a huge plate ?

 

 Ok, fast forward 2 hours…dinner time. It wasn’t very straight forward as we do not know what we want and after sitting in one very popular restaurant,  studying the menu for more than 15mins ,we decided to leave. And yet, we still do not know what we would like for dinner. After a short discussion, we decide that since it’s very expensive to have French dining in KL, maybe we should go French in Vientiane. That was how we ended up at Le Provencal ( which was just opposite the water fountain ) .

 The restaurant was cozy and cheerful French music filled the dining area.

We started off with Beerlao to quenched our thirst (15,000 kip). we weren’t fussy about red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat lah.

 

I opted for the set meal of : Beef with red wine +boil potato + salad ( 75,000 kip ~ RM30)

This came with 4 thick slices of rather hard ( stale) bread ( maybe it’s the French way, I dunno lah.. I hadn’t had French food before) , a bowl of salad – lettuce + celery in what tasted like thousand island salad dressing. The main course itself  was something like stewed beef, albeit stewed in red wine, the beef was well marinated in wine and I think I would definitely failed the breathe analyzer test. The texture of the  beef was a bit dry but overall, it was pleasant .

 

HC’s meal was the Tourist dinner set : salad + grilled pork ribs (70,000 kip). A big bowl of salad descend at our table. Onions, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery , bits of olive in thousand island dressing. This was a very gigantic bowl of salad. I am utterly jealous ! my bowl of salad seemed like a nano-salad in comparison. 

The main course..grilled pork ribs, crispy on the outside, tender and succulent on the inside, this was tasty ! The chips were thick and made from fresh potatoes- great texture.

 

And HC’s meal didn’t end there,  the grilled pork ribs were followed by a bowl of fruit salad ! ( I was consumed by  jealousy  and couldn’t contain myself to take a pix) The cubes of banana, pineapple and papaya were topped with lemon juice.

 Overall , an Ok meal- the servings were big , taste was ok. service was reasonable.

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