Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday, Feb 27th, Vientiane


Today, Travel Indochina picked us up at the hotel and took us to the Saigon Airport.  We boarded a Vietnam Airlines jet, and flew to Phnom Penh, where we deplaned and had lunch.  Then, we boarded another jet, and flew to Vientaine, Laos.  Once there, TI drove us to our hotel.  What made a rather boring set of flights more interesting was our seatmate for the whole ride, Luu Ngoc Diep.  Luu is the Manager for Operations Planning for ANZ, a rather successful bank operating throughout Southeast Asia.  She's a perfect example of a young executive who's destined for great things.  She's obviously been targeted by the bank for senior management, and has a deep understanding of both her business field and her culture.  We were very impressed by her, and are looking forward to a visit if she is ever in California.  We understand that a position with the company in Houston may be in the offering, and that's not so far away.

TI's brochure has a few quotes that Pat says I should throw into the post once in a while.  Here are a couple I agree with.

The true traveler is one who goes by foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of the time.  Collette.
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  Mark Twain.

Wanting to get a shot of the sun setting on the Mekong Delta on the riverfront of Vientaine, we walked about a mile from our hotel soon after we arrived.  The town is building a walking promenade almost the length of the town, but has only finished about half of it.  Even still, it's was exciting to see how many families were out in the early evening using every square foot of it to play sports (badmitton, soccer, skateboard, bike acrobatics, par course exercise, and stationary health gym workouts); social engagement (plenty of Sunday night teen pickups and dates); and business enterprise (selling from mats and stalls every craft and food item).

We stopped at a small restaurant, and drowned some fresh spring rolls, cucumber salad, and noodles with pork in two large Laos beers.  I have to apologize for the fuzzy quality of the photographs taken tonight.  I could blame it on trying to take too many night shots with slow shutter speeds, but the truth is that being a bit tipsy made holding my balance harder on the way back.  Think of them as art photos portraying the ambience of the night.

Though there were very few others, here's a link to all of the photos - Sunday, Feb27th, Vientaine


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