April 10, 2011

280707 the quiet in the land

All photos in this post by K-san.

Title of this post comes from this.

Struck by the silence & emptiness of the southern end of Lane Xang Ave, a major road within the city centre, & the widest road the cat had seen in Laos...we could stand in the middle of the lanes to take photos.

Presidential Palace:


Patuxay in the distance:


Can't imagine the stretch of Orchard Road outside the Istana in Singapore or Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris being this quiet when not closed off by traffic police.

The hor trai (scripture library) of Wat Sisaket, Vientiane's oldest surviving temple:


Survived both the destruction of Vientiane by the Siamese, & a project to widen the road:


Further north along Lane Xang Ave:


By 2009 things would be a lot busier.

Saysouly Guesthouse

Compared to elsewhere in Laos + Thailand, Vientiane isn't replete with good clean accommodation options within the cat's budget. Stayed here more for the convenience - central but relatively quiet location + space for meeting with Lao friends + familiarity with staff + used to be one of the few (if not only) cheap places that could be booked online. Reviews on Travelfish here.

July 2007:


October 2008:


Main/older building pictured above. Hidden on the right is the newer building. Secure + sheltered parking for bikes in the space just inside the left entrance that gets shuttered up at night. Night shift guy sleeps in the lobby just inside the middle/main entrance.

August 2007:


July 2007 - non-ensuite twin (old building 2F):


Because the room we had in mind wasn't available for the first night - the previous guests had decided to stay on for another day. The parquet flooring might interest those who love jigsaw puzzles - no lack of loose pieces & gaps to play around with ;) The AC must have worked when the cat was still a kitten :P

August 2007 - ensuite twin (new building 2F):


What someone on Thorntree had recommended as the best of all rooms in this place.

October 2008 - non-ensuite double (old building 3F):


November 2009 - non-ensuite double (old building 2F):


Again, because the room the cat had in mind wasn't available for the first night. The AC unit is purely for security reasons - to plug that large rectangular hole in the wall. One of the 2 shared bathrooms on this floor was pretty bad - the cat has stayed in more basic guesthouses in rural Laos with cleaner bathrooms.