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Posts tagged ‘Laos’

2012: a year in review

Lane Xang Avenue

Vientiane, May 2012

2012 has been a bumper year for the blog. While Plus Ultra was previously focused on Spain, I have since turned my attention to exploring places a little closer to home. There are clear downsides to living in a frenetic, stressful city like Hong Kong but its location is not one of them – destinations such as India, Indonesia and Japan are all within five hours’ flying time. In a big way, 2012 has been about grabbing hold of opportunities – stepping out and making decisions without any regrets. I’ll remember this year as one of breakthrough, when writing turned from a hobby to a serious vocation. So far editorial work for a regional adventure travel mag has proven to be a dream job, especially when fellow colleagues share the same passion for exploring our planet. Read more

Five Colours from Plus Ultra

Erica from Kizzling Around has kindly nominated me to join the Capture the Colour photo competition run by The idea is to publish a post with five original shots from your travels, each one representing the colours blue, green, yellow, white and red. Read more

Tamarind: a Taste of Laos

Like the country it represents, Lao cuisine is often overlooked in favour of its larger and more popular neighbours. With a remarkable penchant for fresh vegetables and herbs, it is a blend of subtle, sour and spicy flavours, graced by the presence of galangal, lemongrass, mint, dill and coriander, to name just a few. Read more

Easy does it, Luang Prabang

Mr Vongsip is the unassuming owner of our small hotel. In a dark blue button-up shirt he greets us with a wave from the shade of the reception area, a steaming heap of noodles waiting for him on the sunlit terrace. “Any time you want to go outside the city, let me know.” We nod, say our kup jai’s and head out the gate, into a wild profusion of greenery. Read more

Wat Xieng Thong: a photojournal

It is an unmistakable silence that ushers us into the grounds of Wat Xieng Thong. Weaving between the trees and a few modestly-sized pavilions, we stop in our tracks, awed by the light glancing off the glass mosaics and stencilled patterns on the ordination hall, the Sim. Read more

Shake, Rattle and Roll: Route 13, Laos

By the town of Kasi we pull over at a roadside restaurant – rows of plastic furniture arranged under a makeshift tarpaulin roof – indulging in a generous bowl of noodle soup. Happily I slurp up the slices of beef, coriander and meatballs, seasoned with flakes of chilli. It is one of the most memorable meals of our stay, and an absolute bargain at 15,000 kip (roughly 1.85 USD). Read more

All Smiles in Vientiane

At Wattay International Airport we come face-to-face with a promising vision of happy hour, half a day too soon. On the outstretched banner tall glasses of beer stand in neat formation, each of them furnished with smiley faces drawn flawlessly into the foam. Our eyes follow the bold, curvaceous white lettering splashed across its lower half. “Beerlao,” it proclaims. “Beer of the wholehearted people.” Read more