This is my 2nd time visiting Vientiane. This time round I’m here alone on a business trip to train engineer in Laos. And I’m here for 2 weeks which is a long trip. Despite that, I haven’t really been visiting exploring much because of busy schedule. I only have evening and night time to go around but I find that I don’t really dare to go out at night. Along the street is pretty dark and there isn’t much city lighting and it’s quite quiet, very little traffic. So I don’t really feel that safe to go out alone. I thought of renting a motor bike but at the thought of riding alone, I decided not to.
I find that people over here are very laid back. Not much businesses, street not very bustling, and no high rise building. Spending two weeks here is pretty tough. Most of the evening, I just order room service for dinner. Good thing is that the hotel food is quite good. Most of my adventure are trying out different food. So here is some brief snapshot of my Laos trip.
I was booked for City Inn Vientiane hotel. I like this it here. My previous trip I stayed at Saibaidee@Lao Hotel which is like USD 20 more expensive but not very much better. The wifi at City Inn is so much faster but the breakfast not as good and less variety. Room-wise, I think they are more or less the same.
Breakfast at hotel. During lunch, I was brought to this place called Chokdee Dimsum Gold Restaurant. They had dim sum buffet and other non-buffet dishes as well. I ordered BBQ Pork Rice and Iced Milk Ovaltine. And my Laos colleagues ordered some other side dishes. My BBQ Pork Rice was not bad. The Ice Milk Ovaltine was also quite good because they don’t use condense milk like in Cambodia. They use fresh milk and they made it not so sweet. But my highlight of the lunch would have to be the fried dumpling with chili. The fried dumpling was very nice and goes very well with the chili though very spicy.
For dinner, I ordered room service. Actually, that was the first time, that I ordered meal room service from hotel. Usually, I find that they are very overpriced, so I don’t really order. Anyway, my order were Cream of Mushroom Soup, Garlic Bread, Spicy Chick Wings and Spaghetti Bolognese.
Breakfast as usual at hotel. During lunch, my Laos colleague brought me to try their really local food. Lap Lao Beef eaten with sticky rice. They seem to find it very delicious that they ordered like 3 servings of it. For me, it’s not particularly that good because first of it contains pra hok (smelly fermented fished thing) and secondly, there were a lot of vegetables, most of which are not to my liking.
For Dinner, again room service. French Fries, Corn and Spinach Au Gratin, Chicken Spring Rolls and latte for late night caffeine as it was going to be a long night working. The Corn and Spinach Au Gratin is actually a mistaken order. I placed order for 713 but some how the room service guy must have heard 703. I tried it anyway. It was not bad but it was just too corny that I was unable to each much of it.
Breakfast at hotel as usual. For lunch, I was brought to the nearby Pho noodle store. I ordered a large bowl pho and coconut shake. I had to say it was good Dinner room service: Golden Fried Prawn, Cream of chicken soup, and Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Breakfast at hotel as usual. During lunch, my Laos colleague brought me to Pizza company which would not be my choice of food-to-try in Vientiane. Anyway I ordered seafood spaghetti and chicken wings. Nothing spectacular to review.
Again the usual breakfast at hotel. Lunch with Allen at this western buffet restaurant.
Went Swedish Pizza had worst seafood spaghetti ever. Thin Hawaiian pizza and banana shake.
Room service at hotel.
Thailand. Porridge at Udon. Seafood. KFC.
Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at Chokdee Dimsum Gold Restaurant. Dinner Room Service: Cream of Chicken Soup, Chicken Spring Rolls, Mix Fresh Fruit Juice and Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce.
Day 8 – Day 10
One of the days, they took me out of town to Thailand (specifically Udong Thani and Nong Khai). We dropped by PTT for a quick 7Eleven breakfast and Amazon coffee. Then at some road side porridge which was delicious. Then we went to Home Pro where I went nuts and wanted to buy everything. Then the highlight of the day was the lunch seafood (pic below). The tom yum was awesome. The grill squid was fantastic. And then there was the mini lobster or tiger prawn whatever you want to call it, which I don’t have time to describe because I was busy devouring them. It was very fresh and well grilled. I ate everything from head to tail. But in order to enjoy the food, you have to have quite high tolerance for spiciness (which Thailand is famous for) because everything is really spicy.
Other than that, I totally lost track hahaha and it’s been a long post. All in all, I think this is the trip that actually gave me a proper introduction to Vientiane. The first time was we were to busy and exhausted by work. Compared to Phnom Penh, Vientiane is still a far more serene, laid-back, chilled city I think. It’s a good place to visit just to readjust a your tempo and experience a slower pace of life.