- Encounters with locals
- Culture (paddy field, coffee, tea ...)
- Place or Religious Monument
- Off the beaten track
The second largest town in Laos after Vientiane, Savannakhet promises several pleasant surprises that visitors can enjoy if staying there for a few days during a trip to Laos. Situated by the Mekong, which separates the town from Thailand, it's as quiet as its Thai sistertown is modern and buzzing!
The town still has old colonial buildings albeit a bit shabby and unkempt. However the town's former splendour can be seen at a superb exhibition at Lin's Cafe in the town centre! Lin also offers a Walking History Tour around town where you can explore its rich architectural heritage. And whilst you're touring, take the time to chat with the locals - they're a smiley lot!
After my walk I decided to visit the town's many religious sites. The Vietnamese Temple is certainly one of the most sumptuous and the monks were really welcoming . Early in the morning the Buddhist monks walk the streets begging for alms. It's an emblematic sight you also see at Luang Prabang and a moving experience. Whereas Luang Prabang attracts hoards of tourists clicking their cameras, Savannakhet has managed to remain modest and discreet in comparison. The procession is not one to miss!