Category archives for Laos

Same same as Thailand, but different. Same same as South China, but (a lot more) different. Same same as France, but (even more) different.
Laos is a country of its own but the history and its neighbours have left deep marks.

Pic’ in the Picture: Fixing a TV the Lao way

The picture below was taken at a bus station somewhere in Laos, where we sat for a while in order for the bus to be unloaded from its tons of kilos of rice and then reloaded with tons of other stuff. The guy at the picture made some nice entertainment though, because he had found a very interesting way of fixing a TV. It should be noted that the TV was playing tricks on him in that, if he would stand directly next to it, it would work. If he would then climb down the staircase and walk away, it would start “snowing” again until the guy climbed up the staircase and put himself next to it. After several trials, the guy decided he would just stay and stand next to the TV as this was obviously the only logical way to make it work. ;-)

As long as the guy stood there, the TV would work

As long as the guy stood there, the TV would work

Vera & Jean-Christophe

Pic’ in the Picture: Curious buddhas

We decided to create a new category: “Picture in the Picture”. During our trip around the world, we have been taking a lot of pictures of course, some better, some worse, and in this category we want to put some of those pictures in the spotlight. Not because it is very beautiful or technically a “good picture”, but because there is a nice story to tell about it. Like this, we will take pictures from our collection at random and will tell their stories, anecdotes and experiences from around the world. Enjoy reading and travelling!

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The friendly south

Now people have been very friendly all over Laos, always smiling despite a simple and often poor life, and they always seem to be in for a joke with (or especially about!) some falang. :-) But it seemed that the more south we came, the friendlier the people got (yes even more friendly!). We don’t know why, but we have some theories…

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Some more epic bus stories…

Somehow it seems that Laos just isn’t going to be the “happy bus experience country” for us. Pretty frustrating especially because we keep on meeting travellers that tell us “how easy and good it is to travel by bus here” and how little problems they have. We just seem to attract them from a distance of 150 km. Our last experiences made us almost happy to leave Laos soon (but not really because we like this country of great natural beauty and very friendly people). ;-) Below we speak about 2 of those “epic” journeys we had the “luck” to be part of…

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To make everybody jealous…

It is almost 6 months that we are on the road now. Six months in which we had to adapt to new environments continuously, put up with many unforeseen “surprises” and learn how to handle unknown and new situations. Therefore this trip has not only given us many nice, touching and, without doubt, life-changing experiences, making this trip enjoyable and refreshing, but it also offered us some severe cases of “self-testing” in which we needed to cope and adapt in a never-ending manner. For this last reason, it was time we took a small brake and have some rest. And an “eco-lodge” at about 50 km from Vientiane seemed to be just the right place for this.

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The French influence

The funny thing about Laos, is that you can quite strongly feel the influence of the French in the past. In Vientiane for example (the capital) street names are “Rue Something” (and more remarkably: there ARE street names, which is a thing rather absent in other parts of Laos), and for breakfast you can have a “chocolat chaud avec croissant et baguette” (a hot chocolate with a croissant and a baguette) that actually taste better than at a lot of bakeries in France.

But the French influence can especially be felt in the use of language: quite a big part of the population still speaks French (better than English) and especially older people can speak quite a good deal of it. The influence of the old European administration can moreover still be felt at public places (like the post office) and on official papers which are always at least written in Lao and French. The French at those places is however a grammatically correct one, almost a little bit astray from the one we can find when we talk to people on the street which is in general very touching.In general they speak slow and make some minor mistakes that add some local colour to the language. :-)
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Laos live…

Yep, it has been a while we didn’t give any news. No that’s not because we didn’t feel like giving any, but because there is too much to see/do/experience. On one hand this makes we never get to writing (ok, lame excuse) and on the other hand there’s so much to write about that we simply cannot make a choice (ok, even lamer excuse…). Therefore maybe a small snapshot of experiences so far in Laos. Laos live.

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