Most bombed province in the most bombed country
Xiangkhoang Travel Blog› entry 12 of 82 › view all entries
Flying in to Xieng Khouang (Phonsavan) was interesting ... the countryside with pock-marked by craters, some filled with water. This is the most-bombed province in the most-bombed country in the world (says the Mines Action Group information. The US bombarded the area to flush out Vietnamese taking refuge in Laos during the American War (aka Vietnam War).
This pleasant highland (meaning cool) town is little more than a one-street town. It serves as a base for exploring the Plain of Jars. The region is scattered with jars hewn from solid boulders ... and archaeologists have not been able to place an age (due to lack of organic matter) or purpose for these jars.
Money is a bit like in Cambodia when we visited ... you use local currency for small items and often USD for large items ... and when the shops run out of small notes, they give you change in lollies or chewing gum :-) Food is cheap ... I get a nice meal of say, larb chicken with rice for USD1.50. That's about a quarter of the price I pay for the same dish in Auckland ... but I'm sure I pay a tourist price even though I look local.
Many people say to me "You look like Lao" but believe me I've tried getting local pricing at many sights just by saying "Sabaidee" (hello) and giving them the placarded local price ... it doesn't work.
PS: Regarding those sandals and Darkie ... the toothpaste has now been re-branded as "Darlie" but the Chinese characters remain un-PC ... literally means "black man" ... take a look here.