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Talk:Vientiane

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Revision as of 09:14, 20 April 2012 by Ikan Kekek (Talk | contribs)

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Warning about Les dix delices Restaurant[edit]

I returned yesterday from a 3 day trip in Laos. On our last day, my friend and I decided to try the french cafe/restaurant "Les dix delices Restaurant" it has a female characterture on wood in a red dress winking and pointing to the name of the restaurant.

Here is an incident we had at this food establishment:

We came in, the place looked nice, ordered some drinks followed by our food. When our meals arrived, we found my friends noodle dish was not fresh. We discovered my hamburgers' cheese was not fresh and when I bit into it, the meat patty was undercooked! (it was reddish pink and soft - not rare, not medium, not well.) The waiter willingly took it back and came back too soon with what I thought was a new hamburger. I noticed he had handled my bun. I inspected my hamburger and discovered that all they had done was replace the meat patty but had kept my old bun (complete with a missing chunk of where I had bitten into it last.) I threw my napkin over my plate and told my friend "I cannot eat this! It's not safe." The waiter noticed this and walked over, my friend explained in Thai what had happened and the owner walked over and joined the discussion of Laos and Thai, I stopped the conversation and spoke to the French owner directly in English and though she spoke perfect english, she didn't seem to understand why I was disgusted. She declared she has been in Laos for 16 years and this is the first time this has ever happened. I told her I would only pay for my drink. She said that was not good for her. Fed up with her bs, and only having a few hours before leaving the country - I threw in the towel and told her I'll just pay for it so she would just go away. As she walked back to her table she called me an 'idiot'. Angry, I paid our bill down to the very kip and slammed a 1 baht coin on her table as I walked out.

I know better to avoid street food in these countries since they aren't always clean but when going into a tourist establishment, I expect standards

The Laos nationals who work there are very polite and nice. I don't have a problem with them (except the cook I suppose, learn how to cook meat!) I blame the the owner for this situation. My friend and I got the general idea that this owner operates a business that looks nice and clean and perhaps 'modern' but is on a foundation of cutting corners. In my country (USA), I sure you are all aware - we have sanitation laws. You cannot serve meat undercook - it is not safe to eat in that form. It is especially not safe to eat raw or undercooked meat in Laos PDR where I am at risk of parasites and anything else. A EU national should run a business to a EU health standard anywhere they operate. There is no excuse for cutting corners on food safety. Especially when your customers are foreign tourists. I expect a business catering to foreigners and run by an American, Canadian, or European to replace an entire dish if there is any sanitation problem. In America, with enough yelling, you can expect that evenings meal to be free after a incident like that.

So after reading my rant here, I am recommending no one to eat here and to best avoid this restaurant. There are better places, for instance my friend and I went to the Scandinavian Bakery a few blocks down and had a fully cooked delicious burger and chicken sandwich. It's not that hard to care about your customers.

I have also complained to the Lao National Tourism Administration about this food establishment. Perhaps you can add this restaurant to places to avoid or stay safe?

Street signs and "getting-in/out" info[edit]

I am in Vientiane at this moment and the street signs seem all to be present, maybe I overlooked some streets. Maybe adjust this in the article? Also, a "getting-in/out" part from Vientiane to Thailand would be nice to include the 22,000 kip it costs from the busstation to Udon Thani and here you will find the current times/prices:

Udon -> Vientiane (THB 80) Vientiane -> Udon (22,000 kip) 08:00 10:30 11:30 14:00 16:00 18:00 same times as Udon->Vientiane Nong Khai -> Vientiane (THB 55) Vientiane->Nong Khai (15,000 kip) 07:30 09:30 12:40 14:30 15:30 18:00 same times as Nong Khai->Vientiane

Papaya Spa does not have good service[edit]

Recently visited and found the information here very useful EXCEPT that the Papaya Spa had quite bad service (rude, noisy, lying)so I would definitely not recommend it as it made me stressed rather than relaxed. Had much better service at the White Lotus.

VISA CHANGES?[edit]

For some reason my Japanese friend was told that for 2 nights he did not need a visa and so he did not need to pay the fee except for the 10 THB. Very puzzled. Is this a new policy? Just for Japanese? I myself have Thai nationality and knew that I would not need to get a visa.

Yep, that's just for the Japanese. I could explain why but that info isn't appropriate here.

V vs. W[edit]

Lao doesn't have a distinction between V and W, the only sound present in the language is IPA /w/. Alleging that spelling words with W instead of V is a Thai conspiracy, or even a difference between the two languages, is absurd. Jpatokal 22:34, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

More info on Lane Xang hotel?[edit]

Does anyone have some more history on the Lane Xang hotel? I've been googling around but can't find much. I'm most interested in the period around the US involvement in Vietnam, when Vientiane was a favorite spot for journalists and others involved in the conflict to get some respite from Saigon.

You will eat something?[edit]

I can't quite wrap my head around this: The beer is cold though, and when you order cashew nuts or peanuts with it you know you will eat something they have not cooked here. Huh? Jpatokal 00:51, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

How about "...when you order cashew nuts you can be assured that those nuts were not cooked here." Though I don't see why that makes them good. -- Paul Richter 05:27, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, that's the bit that didn't make sense to me either. Jpatokal 06:24, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Sorry about the confusion. I wanted to say something tongue-in-cheek. The truth is that I hesitate to eat in this place. I'll take the sentence out next time I'm editing the article!Dezwitser 10:52, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

"The Spirit House on that tree-shaded part of the river promenade that has not yet been "upgraded" to Lao-style sterile banality like the stretch downriver (there are plans for it, but fortunately the money seems to have run out)."

I find this arrogant and pretentious in the extreme. So basically the author would have the people here continue to deal with an unsafe dirt road, rutted with huge holes, making for a nightmare in the rainy season, all so he can enjoy the "charm" of Vientiane. Paved roads="sterile banality"? No, paved roads=better living standards, but not for the Lao, we can't permit that to interfere with his experiencing quaint, rustic Vientiane. Prince Roy 07:11, 06 February 2011 (EDT)

Size of the Article: make it into two?[edit]

I just saw a warning that the article is getting too big for some browsers, and that one should consider splitting it up in some way. My proposal: take the sections SLEEP, EAT, and DRINK out and create a new Aricle Vientiane: Sleep, Eat and Drink with links in the main article to this one. Does that make sense? Dezwitser 10:56, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Don't worry about the warning, it's a bit of a relic and can safely be ignored. There are many articles on Wikitravel that are many times longer than Vientiane.
If the article grows really big, it can be split into districts, but I just don't see Vientiane ever becoming that size... Jpatokal 12:54, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, I'm happy to hear that. Dezwitser 20:12, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

So close, yet not quite[edit]

I'd love to nominate this for Destination of the Month, but the formatting isn't quite up to the demands of the Wikitravel:Manual of Style. Sigh. Jpatokal 06:42, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

Map is wrong[edit]

I just came back from Vientiane and the hotel locations on the map are wrong. Lao Plaza and Inter-City are not where the map has them located, I haven't checked the rest. Is anyone responsible for the map ?

Whoever you are, and whenever you wrote this (in future please sign and date!), you are also wrong. The Lao Plaza is at the absolutely right location. The location of the Inter City Hotel is not on the map at all (sorry about that), only the reference to it in the legend (H6). It is right next to the Inter Restaurant.
By the way, "the hotel locations are wrong" seems overdoing it a bit, when you have "checked" only two of nine... Dezwitser 10:31, 19 August 2008 (EDT)

Tuk Tuk Mafia?[edit]

I'd like to delete the references to the Tuk Tuk Mafia. Tuk Tuk drivers are just trying to earn a living the same as everyone else. When I was there this week they seemed to be spending most of their time sitting around and waiting for customers. What alternative transport system would Vientiane develop if there were no Tuk Tuks? Shep 10:07, 16 May 2010 (EDT)

What alternate forms of transportation would there be? Just think about it!

As for how to define "mafia"? That's an interesting question. Apart from inflated prices, some drivers also harass foreigners (who are riding bikes and so clearly don't want tuk-tuk rides) to buy drugs or prostitutes. Does that count as a mafia?

Vientiane's road grid...[edit]

I do not agree with the following statement: « The Lao word "thanon" on these signs is translated by "rue", "avenue" or "boulevard", in many cases without any apparent logic. ».

I believe that "rue" is used for the standard wayfares whereas "avenue" corresponds to the French-planned arterial roads (Samsenthai, Luang Prabang, Lanexang, Sithong...). As for the "boulevard", they are the thoroughfares which were built over Vientiane's razed city walls (Khonboulom and Khouvieng match the layout of the inner compound according to the excellent "Vientiane, portrait d'une ville en mutation"). A comprehensive analysis would be necessary to put forward a categorical statement but I haven't noticed any outlier.

That being said, this is clearly a level of detail above the interest of a casual sightseer and I fully support the choice of "thanon" throughout the article for commodity's sake and because that's how Lao people know them.

Rdavout 14:13, 28 September 2010 (EDT)

iSpot Travel Information Center[edit]

iSpot Information Center in Vientiane provides information to travelers visiting Laos ([ispot.la]). It is not a tour operator or tour agency. Thus, please consider undoing the last change. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact contact them at ispot@ispot.la. Thanks!

If iSpot is not selling anything, it may not be a problem vis a vis tour, but I think there is an issue with Wikitravel's external links policy. What do you all think? In a nutshell, Wikitravel's policy is not to have links for competing guides. Ikan Kekek 05:10, 20 April 2012 (EDT)

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