Lazy Start to Laos

Oh, those French. I can just imagine the life of leisure in which those colonialists must have drifted while in Vientiane. It’s warm in the day, but pleasantly cool in the evenings, the Mekong drifts slowly by the city and there is no chance of running out of French food.

CIMG4378-320.jpgWhile we did step out to do a small amount of touristing while in the city – most notably the monument known as the “Vertical Runway” because it was built using concrete donated by the US for building an airport runway – our main focus was truly on the food. There are just too many places to eat, too many cuisines to sample, too many balconies on which to relax and too many cafes in which to chill. We did our best to eat as much as humanly possible while there and were joined by Doug and Amy whom we met a couple months ago in India; it is brilliant to have friends once again.

CIMG4393-320.jpgThe top two meals have to go to the the cafe where we ate breakfast three days in a row, and the DaoFa Bistro on one of the main streets in town. The breakfast place served some world-class, buttery, croissants and espresso. After days and days of Vietnamese pho to start the day, to have a little French in the morning made me melt. This place also set us up with a take-away lunch for our bus ride up to Vang Vieng and that meal earns the gold medal in the Lunch on a Bus category: fresh green salad (salad!!) with peppery vinaigrette and fresh, whole baguettes – one with chicken and wild mushrooms and one with real roasted beef, potatoes and grainy mustard. The heretofore gold medal holder was Pringles and oranges so this new champion will surely not be beat.

CIMG4396-320.jpgDaoFa hit dead centre of our weak spot: wine. We had to create a meal between lunch and dinner just so that we could enjoy a little carafe at a sidewalk table. I got a ham and cheese crepe, which was no slouch, but Marc won with the smoked-duck salad with walnuts and prunes. Smoked duck! Prunes! I can’t believe we left Vientiane without going back but there were just too many places and not enough stomach.

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