The country of Laos, officially referred as Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Vietnam to the east, Burma and China to the northwest, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west, as divided by the Mekong River. As a landlocked nation, Laos greatly depends commerce and trade with its neighbouring giants.
Laos is among the few nations today that run on communist rule, to which has only opened its doors to global trade and tourism during the 1990’s . As compared to its neighbours, Laos is less dynamic and is still on the process of coping with the demands of modernity ; we at least for the moment.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos . Though the nation’s the biggest, this city is less modernized, with no railways and no malls , less noise and traffic , with a lot of patches of green. The central market is still the city’s source of almost everything.
I arrived to this laid back city on a Sunday afternoon, and I was eased to see that locals enjoying the parks and open spaces, and playing a sepak takraw like game. A number of tourists freely enjoy roaming the streets on bike . Vientiane was definitely a breathe of relaxing atmosphere.
Laos is not much visited by Filipinos as compared to other ASEAN nations. In my five days stay, I have not heard of a single Tagalog phrase , I was a few times asked if I were Thai or Chinese. I definitely felt the foreign atmosphere in this Country.
I Explored the nearby night market for local food. They do a lot of grilling and sun drying . This red meat on a ring is like dehydrated seasoned pork , covered with sesame seeds.
I personally think that Lao food is influenced by Chinese , less the flair and artful preparation, since Laos is farther up the mountainous side of Indochina Peninsula.
Chinese food and lifestyle definitely made an influence neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. But with the route I travelled, I have observed that the farther the country is from China, the simpler the food becomes.
One fine morning in Vientiane , I woke up at 5:30 am to check out the nearby Talao Sat Public Market , which is the city’s center for trade .
It is always a priority of mine to visit public markets whenever I go places, because it is where one finds cheaper souvenirs, and authentic cooking. But more to that, public markets are less trendy and more on the local atmosphere, which gives visitors an interesting vibe on how the foreign community starts up its day.