Phonsavan To Vieng Xai In Need Of A Curry

bsacbob

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Well after a pretty tame night today was to be a pavement ride heading as far north as time would allow, to tee us up for a visit to Lima 85 all being well, but first stop was to take a look at the Mig's.

The Russian cargo plane remains in its usual location, amazed the hunk of scrap has not been stripped down by now.

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Poor shot of the Mig's but it looks like some of them have been removed.

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After a quick pit stop in town for a baguette, it was north to Tham Piu Missile Cave

N19.67364 E103.56833


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They have an excellent although small information - museum which is sadly seldom open.

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One of the mass grave sites.

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We had the place to ourselves.

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The cave has an eerie feel to it, and the story of the horrific events adds to that feeling and the 374 souls claimed here.

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This memorial statue a grim reminder.

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Nearby UXO Laos office, indicates there are still uxo's littering the area.

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A quick stop in the village to check the weaving looms.

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Amazing amount of detail

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Working our way north and the roadway snakes its way through the Karst mountains

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Another pit stop and as always lot's of smiling kid's, well half smiles.

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The whole area around the communist monument in Sam Neua is getting a facelift, the town still has an unwelcoming feel, so we pushed on to Vieng Xai.

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After quickly poking around town it was time for a cold one in the Sailomyen.

N20.41221° E104.22455°

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Totally out of keeping with the rest of the otherwise quaint town, the new district offices now still unfinished, a huge white elephant.

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The defiant statue gives you some idea of what the people in the area think of the USA.

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Checking into the Chichareane hotel still the best place in town but showing signs of neglect, but the beds are super comfy.

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The main reason to visit Vieng Xai was to gorge ourselves in the Sabiadee Indian restaurant.

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Vieng Xai

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Ticino

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Nong Khai
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Thanks for the lovely report and the pictures - walking down the memory lane with you ;-)
The little museum (GPS 19.673805 103.568029) at the sombre sight of Tham Phiu (the bombed cave where 324 souls perished on 24 November 69) can be opened against getting the keeper out of his hammock behind the little stall selling (cold) soft drinks and beers. It is a collection of war scrap metal and a few paintings on the incident hanging on the walls
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It is not all that informative (as I had expected) yet the text is self-explanatory and oozes the understandable hatred by the commies. The keeper, by the way, will act considerably faster when putting a beer into the opening equation - just in case!
 

Ticino

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To add to the general understanding of communism the following example of tariffing might help. It is not the most overrun place to start with - whenever I pass through I stop and there was never any other visitor anywhere in sight. Yet, due to the fact, that the place is completely empty all the time someone at the tourism promotion board had the idea to double the price; LAK 5'000 in 2009:
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.... and a year later LAK 10'000:
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I assume that it must have made a real impact on the earnings of the PDR ......
 

bsacbob

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I did manage to get into the museum some time ago, pulls no punches about how they feel about what happened.

Tham Piu (The Missile Cave)

We actually got in for free as it was still early, I think the caretaker was too embarrassed to chase us down for a ticket fee.
 

Ticino

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And yes, dining on Indian delights at the Sabaidee Odisha is when your culinary gravy train pulls in big time.

After all the Pho soups it is more than a welcome deviation. They do cater from brekkies to dinners.

The Indian owner (most likely from the Indian city of Odisha) is/was a project engineer in the mining company just next door. Missing his home cooking he took a cook along from his next home leave. The cook's wife followed upon the cook's home leave and they run the lucullic show - apart from being able to speak a living language too.

If you're late (and that can happen if you come up from Phonsavan, stop at Tham Phiu and the menhirs of Suan Sao Hin Phan) you might want to call ahead announcing that you're coming at 020-5557 7202 or 020-2385 0594.

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