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Ban Nam Water Festival (video)

20 Oct

This is a short clip from the Ban Nam water festival. It takes place in Laos every October and is celebrated with market stalls and many boat races. In Savaanakhet the races took place on the Mekong river.

The Best Beer in Laos

12 Oct

Dam Jook!

Laos is partly renowned for its friendly people, semi lethal Lao Lao drink and Beer Lao, but until reaching Central Laos I had no idea the province of Savannakhet had its own beer too- Beer Savan. It has a tiny dinosaur on the front of the can and tastes better than Beer Lao.

After perhaps one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in Laos at the floating restaurant, and listening to some rather deafening live Lao music by the Mekong River, we decided to search for a karaoke bar Tat and Andy had been to the other night.

However, unable to find the place, Tat asked some Lao locals who were sat enjoying a beer outside, for directions. The man at the far end said, “I’ll tell you where it is, but you have to have a drink with us first.” Behind him were loads of stacked up crates of beer and large signs reading ‘Beer Savan’.

We’d accidentally stumbled upon the Beer Savan owner and her friends and employees having a friendly evening meal and drink. We were only too happy to accompany them.

In all honesty, up until last night I was starting to feel that the claims were false about Laoisians being friendly, hospitable people; especially as we were fed bowls of laxatives the week before in a home-stay meal in Konglor.

But, the people of Savannakhet and the Beer Savan group were incredibly warm, welcoming, and happy to chat with us all evening; they definitely lived up to the ‘Lao people are friendly’ reputation. And as we left, they kindly gave us all a free Beer Savan glass each, with a dinosaur on the front.

Of course, the whole thing could have just been an excellent sales pitch, as I’m now writing a whole blog post about Beer Savan; if so, good for them. We all had fun, they made some extra sales and as promised, they lead us in the right direction to the karaoke bar just in time for what seems like Laos and Thailand’s favourite song, Hotel California.