Friday, November 27, 2009

Capital of snooze

Vientiane is probably the most chilled out capital city in the world. It’s also small like a provincial town. Each part of the city is quaintly called a village and there’s barely a traffic light in sight. You can walk the length of the historic core in about 15 minutes. Most buildings are low-slung and streets are interspersed with wats giving it a cosy, small-town atmosphere. It also boasts, curiously, a large number of Italian restaurants and dozens of local clothes shops in a small radius; its largest ‘department store’ only has two floors. Tuk tuk taxi guys are underemployed and snooze over long lunch hours on hammocks in their vehicles, appointment times shift, traffic police sway in boredom, and lights go out across the city before 11pm. No all night dancing here...

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