Accidental Tourist

Mud Town

Local Volunteer

Slept In

Another Auditor

Ticket to Nowhere
I was instructed to head to the office of Kian Minh Travel first thing in the morning on Monday. It is relatively critical that I get on the right flight out of here today, but I know that things don't really operate on long advance notice around here. I wonder what you have to do to get a decent fair, actually. I think it means taking a package tour or something. In China, all of the one-way fairs were posted on a seasonal poster for each region, but in Laos, I got the feeling that prices were a bit more negotiable. Anyway, I was able to get a ride out AND pay for it with a credit card (not possible in Luang Prabang), so I was happy. I had time to spare, so I decided to run out to this interior design gallery I had heard about

Phai Ikala
It took the driver a bit to find this obscure shop on a back ally of town. Just when I was about to give up, I spotted the huge bamboo beaMS, through a window. Yes, it was the bamboo furniture that I had been hoping to run into on my journey. Maybe not exactly what I wanted, but they seemed to do make-to-order stuff, so I was encouraged. However, with only a short time before my flight, and a saleswoman who didn't understand English or know about international shipment, it seemed difficult. I took their namecard and told them I would fax or call later

So overall, I found Laos a rather uninteresting shopping excursion. Unless you are looking for ladies sarongs or small likenesses of random Buddhas, you are not likely to find much. I would have liked to buy some clothes, shoes, cassettes, tea, etc, but didn't find much of any of this on the market. Even the city markets seemed a bit boring after coming down out of the north. Lots of cheap, uninteresting stuff imported from China and Thailand. I walked away with only a slightly humorous t-shirt advertising BeerLao

Wattay International Airport
The airport I visited today was quite different from the domestic building I passed through a couple days ago. It looked like the new international terminal had been funded by Japan with the runway construction going to a German affair. The facilities were nice enough, definitely beating the Kathmandu airport by a bit on the technological front, although Nepal's capital airport has a more personable observation deck. Departure was on-time and leave it to Thai airways to serve a full meal with wine on only a forty-five minute flight

Laos: | Namtha | Houei Xai | Mekong | Prabang | Vientiane | Expenses | Pictures | Summary
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