today we headed to the outskirts for some slightly more obscure tourist attractions
you see a lot of situations like this in lao.. people on the land but live in shacks, then they build houses bit by bit depending on how much money they have. like when they have a spare $100 they'll buy bricks, then paint etc etc. the houses have these viet/western kinda look, and 95% have tiled floors with no furniture. you'll get to see this a bit later on. i think this one would have been a parents house that the children have paid for. most of the time the people in the outskirts prefer the shacks to the houses
this is the nam ngum hydro electric dam. not much to look at but the lao government is proud of it. they plan on building a couple more similar plants and sell off the power to neighbouring countries to build their economy. the river on the other side was pretty spectacular.
this is kinda what some shacks look like in lao, but this one is a slightly more deluxe version, its a lot bigger, and it has a proper bed. usually the shacks are very small as theyre only used for sleeping. all day-to-day leisure activities are usually conducted outside a shack.
we had lunch on the river, this was probably the best tom yum i'd ever had. it came served to you with coals in the centre so it was always hot.
then we went to the zoo, funnily enough another place that didnt really have many westerners.
this was a kangaroo donated by the australian government
this was the crocodile bit, first we only saw the one in the water and were freaking then we looked on the opposite bank and saw about 50 of them. pretty wild
but it was THIS that was the real eye opener.
as you can see we're in the middle of fucking nowhere, outskirts of the lao capital... not totally remote but not in the city neither... maybe 2 hrs from town. our driver takes us down this side road, through more shack villages until finally we see this building on top of the mountain.
it was a fucking casino. now its illegal for lao nationals to gamble in lao, and its illegal for thai nationals to gamble in thailand. so what they do is set up these casinos kinda close to the borders so each country can go for a quick flutter. we go in there and its fucking dead, we were the only foreigners and no one spoke any english.
because everyone was just staring at us i didnt take any photos inside, but this was the resort pool.
a hotel operates there also.. but it was hard to tell if it was actually functional or not.
this was some spec plans for how they intended to build a city around the casino. obviously didnt happen for whatever reason.
i won $100 on roulette and got out
our last meal in vientiane at my uncles house was a corker. especially the bamboo soup. if you ever see bamboo soup on a menu i'd recommend you try it.