Laos: Randomly, Brief

Posted in Diary, Thoughts, Travel by Alvin on August 1, 2010

Random thoughts and incidents in Laos, which worth to pen and remember.

Crashing a Laotian wedding

Last day in Vientiane, a few of us decided to hit the bar after dinner. I couldn’t remember the name of the bar, but we somehow got hold of a promotional pamphlet which says happy hour: buy 1 free 1. BeerLao for half the price, why not?

As we were making our way to the junction, we heard loud speakers playing Laotian songs,  and one of us suggested that there’s where the real party was. We stood in front of a live band belting out traditional songs, and 2 canopies filled with guests, and a buffet line. We gave out an awkward smile and in split seconds, we were ushered to a table, and the locals started popping bottles and bottles of BeerLao, filling out glass to the brim and dished out plates after plates of food.

‘Welcome to my wedding’. A lady who looked a little tipsy, spoke to us in Laotian accent. The real party starts after that brief introduction. We had unlimited flow of beer, dragged out to try out Laotian dance with the guests and a kid who kept us entertained despite speaking zero English.

Guests left not too long after, and as the band disassembles, and we were asked to join the host and a few of her close friend. ‘Lao style, Lao style’, a man started pouring a glass of beer and it went down at one go. That’s ‘Lao style’, he says. We went a few rounds of yam seng, before he brought out a bottle of Black Label and goes ‘Lao style’, grinning.

That was the night, we first tasted what’s truly Laotian hospitality. And we had our free flow beer, whiskies, got really drunk and a bad hangover the next day.

Hello, my friend

It was raining that night in VangVieng. Rain got heavier near midnight and the whole town blacked out, probably due to storm. The bar counter at Island Bar was fully filled with party peeps sheltering. I bid an early goodbye to the rest, making my way back to the guesthouse, wading through wet road and drizzles. I was soaked wet half way through the journey before I heard a motorcycle from far, slowing down as he approaches me.

‘Crap’, I thought. Having to live in KL for the past few years, dark quiet alley/roads + motorcycle = snatch thieves/robbers. The bike stopped in front of me, with a local guy who looked pretty tipsy and wet.

Biker: Hello, my friend. You ok?

Me: Hi. Yes I am.

Biker: Where you stay?

Me: Just right in front (Randomly points at the nearest building)

Biker: Ok. Take care my friend. Good night.

Me: …….. Oh..err..good night!

I stood there, as the bike made a left turn, and disappears into the dark. I sucked a mouthful of chill cold air and laughed at how I paranoid I was.

Khob Jai Lai Lai

One of the best thing about traveling alone is randomly meeting other travelers. Apart from what Laos had to offer, other backpackers I’ve met made my trip in Laos more enjoyable. Company aside, I’ve learned a lot from random travelers I’ve met and spoke to.

Icing on the cake!


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