In Jan of '07 Richard and Carla Griswold, Tim Whitney and I stopped off for a few days in Vientiane Laos on our return trip from Vietnam to Thailand .  Still sorting pictures. 

Here we are at the Beau Rivage (see below for more info) having b'fast                                The BMW lads are filming a commercial.             

Dan, Diddi and I bounced over to Laos for a few days in late '05.  A fun place to visit for a few days.  Not a hell of a lot going on.

Dan, Diddi and I in the “Khob  chai deu”  bar / cafe.  Seems to be the hotspot of the "ville".    Indulging in my favorite pastime.            The venerable Tuk tuk, a normal way of travel.                                Gee ..... that looks like real gold!  Is it?   OK!    I took a pix of the American Emb., with the great flag above it.  But Emb. security made me delete my pix.  However someone else caught the entire affair.           

Tim & Lynn in Laos in March 2006.  They have some fine French food, and world class Italian at "L' Opera", on the fountain circle.

The "Beau Rivage" hotel.  Very unusual, but in a nice way.                        A monument to American Govt. spending.  A great sum was given to build an airport, but they built the monument.  Refered to as the "vertical runway".    Reading their own placard describing it, they aren't too impressed either.                This guy came cruising up after some hard riding.  Dressed for serious off road travel.                          Lovely b'fast.  Eggs Bennedict.  Very good        Asked the taxi driver to take me to the "Plaines des jars".  Usually a few hour ride.  But in 5 min here we were.  You sure this is it?  Oh yea!!!                                       

Laos again;  Tim "Iceman" Whitney, John the "G-man" and Me, Lynn "Uncle Ho" McFadden.  Likely Jan of '05

    Off in one of a half dozen fine restaurants in Vientiane.  6.	La Vendome.             The Lao are very style conscious.  Here is a young man with some chic footwear that WE won't have for months.                    According to the guide book this is called "that damned stupa"  Look it up   


The Vientiane airport is the easiest airport to get in and out of that I know of.  People friendly and helpful.   


Places to stay.   There are many little guest houses from 8 dollars to the Novotel which is a good bit more expensive.  And some well over that.  Here is what I have seen personally.

     1.    Parkview.  A serviced apt. setup.  Well located.  Monthly from $1,350. – and up.  Didn’t check the daily rate.  Very nice.  Luang Prabang Rd.

2.    Mongkok Hotel.  Looked a bit rough.  Could work if you aren’t too particular.  $25 – 30   with a river view.  25 Fangum Rd.

3.    Lane Xang Hotel.  Fa Ngum Rd.  (they spell it differently).  A govt owned hotel  built by the Russians.  That should tell you enough.  Good location.  In the $20’s.  I have stayed there, won’t again. 

4.    Beau Rivage Mekong.  Very lovely but a big pricier.  $28 – 50.  Served great eggs Benedict.  Tel.  856-21 243 350  Website:       

5.  Another little hotel just past the Beau Rivage.  Don't recall the name but it was small but very nice and exceptionally clean.  Rooms were like $12.00 - $15.00. 

6.  Lao orchid.   Chao Anou Rd.,   Around $35.00

7. Chanthapanya Hotel,  No 138 Norkeokounmmarin Rd.   E-mail:  Very nice little hotel, clean and good location.  Approx $35 per night.  Stayed there in Aug of ’07 and will again. 

8. Vayakorn Guest House.   Didn’t stay here but looked at it.  Very nice and clean.  Approx $20.00 per.  Half block from the Chanthapanya Hotel.   E:

9. Royal Dokmaideng:   A bit further out, nearer the “vertical runway”.  Older and a bit tired, but still very adequate.  Large rooms.  About $36.


Where to Eat!!  Everyplace will be referenced the best possible to the fountain circle.  It’s about 2 streets down from the Lao Plaza hotel.   

1.    Scandanavian Bakery Coffee Shop.  For b’fasts for even a great lunch.   Good coffee with a free fillup.    Great pastries and wonderful sandwiches.  A very adequate b’fast if you have the time.  I hit the place daily. 

2.    “Il opera.   Wonderful Italian food, across the fountain circle from the Scandinavian Bakery.  Owner is Pino, a fine restaurateur.   I hit it every time I’m in town.

3.    There is a little crepery that should be tried.  If you leave the Scandy bakery, walking back to the Lao Plaza hotel about a half block from the bakery on the left side of the street.  Opt for the upstairs.  Try it at least once.  Eat upstairs.

4.    The little bar around the corner from the bakery is a regular spot for evening fun.  From the hotel go to the circle, and take a right just beyond the circle.  A main street one way to the left.  The bar   “Khob  chai deu”  sp   is a great place for a drink or 5.  I don’t care much for their food.  Some nice night action passes thru. 

5.    The Cote’ ‘d Azur.  (62-63 Fangoum Road)  From your hotel pass thru the circle and go to the river street.  Take a right and go down about 2 blocks.  On your right side.  A decent steak and other good food. 

6.    La Vendome. (Rue:  Soi Inpeng)  tel – 216402.  Don’t miss it.  A great Crème Brule.  (sp).  And other good food as well.  A must hit.  Out of the way and hard to find.  But walk out of the Cote’ D Azur and take a right and go 2 or 3 blocks.  Get a cyclo from there and he’ll find it. 

7.    Weekend b’fast, have an Eggs Benedict at the Beau Rivage Mekong.  Out the door of the Cote D’azur and right for 7 or 8 blocks.  Walkable but take a tuk tuk.  Admittedly the staff has trouble putting it all together at the same time, but if you get lucky it’s great.  You will go west past the hard top onto gravel rd.  Another 2 or 3 blocks.  The place is sort of a pink palace.  Very unusual rooms.  I stayed there the past 2 trips.  Owner Gordon, nice guy. 

Have fun.                    Ho


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