Sunday, April 25, 2010


We are visiting Laos for six days holiday before moving on to Phuket in Thailand for a further 8 days. I have not been to Laos before so this is an exciting adventure.
You require a visa to enter which cleverly is issued to you on arrival. You bring with you a passport photo and US$30 and five minutes later a beautiful visa is embossed in your passport. A good earner of foreign currency for the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic!

My first impression of the place is that it is a somewhat sleepy, smaller, financially poorer, version of Vietnam. Vientiane is so low rise that it is very difficult to find your way about because there are no landmarks. Although the population is said to be 400,000+ it feels much less, the traffic is light, and non-aggressive, and there is no tooting of horns as you get incessantly in Thailand and Vietnam, two of their neighbours.
Blogging will continue while in Laos although not at the same level as wireless internet services here seem basic and expensive.

Coming over on the long flight from Auckland to Bangkok I read Charlotte Grimshaw’s forthcoming novel, THE NIGHT BOOK, (Vintage, publication 11 May), see post below, as well as a number of magazines including The Economist, April 17-23. There is so much reading in this magazine that I usually only read it while travelling.
Now from a book not yet published to one from my bedide pile at home that was published back in October 2009, Stella Rimington’s PRESENT DANGER (Quercus, $37.99

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