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Huay Xai, Laos

  • wacharinov

    Joined Travelfish
    29th June, 2009
    Posts: 8

    #1 Posted: 29/6/2009 - 09:48

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  • somtam2000

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    Note, I've amended the post above to embed the Youtube video into the post (with the linked URL below). Nice work wacharinov!

    #2 Posted: 29/6/2009 - 09:56

  • BruceMoon

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    Great vid, but why focus on the busy parts of the day?

    Once the tourists' have p***d off in the am, the pace in Huay Xai is far less hectic.

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 29/6/2009 - 12:43

  • wacharinov

    Joined Travelfish
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    Yes, there's slow town.

    #4 Posted: 12/9/2009 - 10:09

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    The busy part of the day? It gets less hectic? The "disco" was dead, minus the small motorcycle tour group there was almost no traffic, the restaraunts looked like disaster areas... one was palatable. Help me guys, where is the upside to this place?

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the poster taking time to make and post the vid... but I can't for the life of me see why I would be going to this town.

    #5 Posted: 12/9/2009 - 13:16

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
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    wacharinov you are a Thai backpacker right?

    Madmac Thai tourists might look for different things than you. Notice the shots of the western backpackers? The food is kao piak sen. All Asians love noodle soup. Kao piak sen is only found in Laos and is very delicious.

    I like Huay Xai for many reasons, but you might well not like it for the same ones if any. Usually I am coming at it from a completely different direction so I am happy to see all things central Lao, and modern. ATMs, internet, kao piak, pate, round eyes.

    #6 Posted: 12/9/2009 - 21:05

  • wanderingcat

    Joined Travelfish
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    there's a whole section of town sort of parallel to that main road along the Mekong, hidden behind the hills. stayed in the same place as wacharinov, & that hilltop temple (Wat Chom Khao) is where i watched the first sunrise of 2007...from the top of the stairs (flanked by starfruit trees at one point) you can sit & watch tourists bent under the weight of huge backpacks arriving in the morning, like turtles clambering onto shore during nesting season :)

    #7 Posted: 12/9/2009 - 23:18

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Somsai, alas I am not an asian tourist. I don't like soup much at all, although an occassional Gulasch from Germany is OK. The place just looked dead in the video. I'm not into small towns and I've seen enough temples to last a lifetime. I like cities, nice Cafes where I can get a good Capacino, nightlife, Italian and German food (and Somali and Indian), good dancing, boxing... This place looked short on all of those things. I'm glad it works for you, but I to me it just looked like a boring, dusty border town.

    #8 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 00:53

  • busylizzy

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    Hey MadMac - I think what you need to remember is you live and breathe the 'Asian' lifestyle by virtue of the fact that you have lived there for several years, married a Thai, and have immersed yourself in daily life (as I understand it). Perhaps you have become a bit jaded to the things that many others still find fascinating - merely due to the fact that the culture and lifestyle is such a contract to what most are exposed to in their home countries.

    When travelling to Asia, the last thing I want to do is to drink coffees, and eat European food when I can do that so readily at home. I want to see, taste and experience new and different things. Some of my unexpectedly favourite places in Thailand were those that were very ordinary.

    This IS a travel forum, not an expats forum - so people will be approaching these places in a very different way to you, and are probably looking for different experiences that you will be. It's no different than when I travel around NZ - I look for very different experiences than most travellers to NZ would be.

    I haven't been to Laos yet - but I'm looking forward to it. So where are YOUR favourite places, MM?

    Wacharinov, I enjoyed the video - thanks!

    #9 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 04:17

  • somsai

    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United States
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    Bizliz it has nothing to do with being an expat or living there. After all every other person responding to the post either lives or has lived in SEAsia, two are ethnicaly South East Asian. The ability to enjoy local culture is a facility that can be put to good use wether in one's own country at a county agricultural fair or in a small river town across the world. Understanding what you are seeing helps.

    In the tin of fresh ingredients I thought I recognised fresh banana flower cut very thin and in a bowl fermented soy paste, lueat in the soup. Probably wacharinov or wandering cat recognise the other vegetables. To the unassimilated expat it's just a bunch of Asians eating weird food. It's too bad really. Not the unknowing but the not wishing to know.

    Other parts of the video appeal if you can put the background in context. I don't know anything more about the video other than I assume the person who made it is Thai, and the people in it are his freinds. I know some Thai people who backpack in Laos. One is a banker and the other in IT, both have advanced degrees from American Universities where I met them. Young Thai backpackers are often sophisticated, educated, travelers. They have enough local understanding to enjoy the country fair equivalent that is Huay Xai. Coming from a similar culture and speaking a language almost the same they are both of the culture yet apart from it at the same time. The food is somehow familiar but different and very fresh, likewise the sounds and feel of the street and disco. Imagine the oportunity of visiting the Australia of fifty years ago. That might well be how it feels to a Thai backpacker.

    #10 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 05:49

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  • wacharinov

    Joined Travelfish
    29th June, 2009
    Posts: 8

    Backpackers In Laos - Laos
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BKdnmuFoV0&feature=fvw

    #11 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 09:17

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6256
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    Somsai
    You are trying to make the arguement again that to appreciate Laos you need to have some sort of deep understanding of it - or you need to be culturally sensitive - or you need to be very intelligent. Perhaps. But this ignores the fact that there are lots of people with all those qualifications who do not like boring, dusty border towns.

    I actually think Liz is onto something here. Things that my friends get a kick out of when they come here to me are just routine. I just shake my head wondering what they find so interesting.

    On the flip side, I love Dire Dawa Ethiopia for reasons that are inexplicable, and Somalia is one of my favorite countries in the world. But that has to do with politics and violence (OK good food and hot women don't hurt either). The dusty, crappy border towns there are still just that. They don't even have the discos or vehicles we saw in this vid - although the food is better.

    The bottom line for me is that towns like this are just boring. I like to DO things, not SEE things.

    #12 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 12:28

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
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    Oh and as for food - I have a pretty selective palate, and most Asian food that isn't loaded with MSG isn't cutting it. If you aren't a big veggie fan, and don't like fish, and I'm not and I don't, then SE Asian food in general (recogning there are exceptions) isn't going to be a big hit.

    #13 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 12:36

  • hokasch

    Joined Travelfish
    24th December, 2008
    Posts: 45

    The bottom line for me is that towns like this are just boring. I like to DO things, not SEE things.
    ...
    "If you aren't a big veggie fan, and don't like fish, [...] then SE Asian food in general (recogning there are exceptions) isn't going to be a big hit."

    How relative everything is... Sweet.

    #14 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 15:03

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6256
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    It is indeed.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    #15 Posted: 13/9/2009 - 16:04

  • wacharinov

    Joined Travelfish
    29th June, 2009
    Posts: 8

    Go there before the 3th bridge finish.

    #16 Posted: 15/11/2010 - 15:31

  • 5acrefarmer

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    Yeah but what about the music!?!

    #17 Posted: 15/11/2010 - 17:55

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