Fun and Family in Vientiane

Posted on October 18, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

So we are currently in Cambodia and have been here for 3 days, but true to form we are behind on our posting! So I will chat about Vientiane, where we spent 5 days with some of James' family, namely uncles Aiden and Gerard, aunt Thone and cousins Halle, Joni, Alpha and Pan. A wonderful time was had; it was Alpha's 14th birthday while we were there so it was fun help her celebrate it!

Vientiane is the capital of Laos but doesn't really feel like a capital to me. It is an interesting city; it's not very touristy but thanks to the insider knowledge of the family we experienced some great stuff. Highlights included the following lovely events;

As I mentioned it was Apha's birthday on our second night so we went bowling and to a great Japanese restaurant. It was a lot of fun; Thone won the bowling, and for dessert we had licorice laces:


Alpha and Joni race to see who can get to the end of the lace first!

Speaking of food, we also went to a floating restaurant! You order your food at the riverbank where there is a place you can have drinks etc. When it is ready they bring it and you onto your boat (which is just for your party). You, or rather your driver, drives up river and then at a certain point (depending on how long you would like to be out for) they turn off the engine and you float back to base. It was excellent fun and Halle, Joni and I sat on the edge of the boat and dangled our toes in the water.


2 of the floating restaurants

One of the things we did that was touristy was go up the Victory Monument. It is loosely based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and is dedicated to those that fought in the struggle for independence from France. The best thing about it though is that the US gave Laos money to build a new airport, but the Laotian government of the day used the money to build the monument instead! It is sometimes referred to as the vertical runway, which cracks me up! The view from the top is cool:

The bit that had me jumping up and down with excitement though was one of the last things I did. Thone owns a shop that sells Laos silks (scarves, wall hangings, clothes) among other things, and many of them are created in the store's workshop. Thone very kindly let me go to the workshop and create a piece of silk art! I had done some loom weaving before when I was in school but nothing as delicate or intricate as working on a complex silk loom. I had help from her staff to learn the process, and the loom was pre-set to the pattern so I didn't have to prepare the loom, but it was immeasurable fun! We were there for about four hours (James read and took occasional photos!) and at the end I had a finished piece with a complete pattern!. One of the staff members put a fringe on the piece for me as we were out of time. I had so much fun and have a piece of Lao silk with a traditional design that I made myself. Awesome. Thanks Thone! James took lots of pictures and some video of me at work but we haven't been able to upload them yet. When we do, we'll be sure to let you know.

So that's all folks! We've got some ancient temples to explore, so I'm off!

xR

Posted via email from dreadpiratesarcas

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