SAVANNAKHET: A DISCREET CHARME

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After a few days spent in the north of Laos i was ready to enjoy the tranquillity of the South. I think the small provincial city of Savannakhet is just what i envisioned in all these years, the perfect sleepy ex-colonial town where the past is being quickly replaced by modernity although its echoes are still here.

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Apart from the beautiful Hospital, the governement doesn’t seem very keen in conserving the French heritage buildings.

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Luckily some Thai enterpreneur understood what backpackers (and not only) like and built a small cozy cafe out of an old building. The espresso was delicious and the place filled up with old memorabilia.

From one of the few tables one can see the old cinema, where i found they were screening an old movie called “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”!

The French also left behind some of their favourite sport that Lao people seem to be still enjoying, le “Petanque”, an old summer favourite game very famous in Italy as well.

French is not the only influence here as the Chinese plays an important role as well. Temples and pagodas fill up the old part of town near the Mekong river and lie almost forgotten from the few tourists.


Young Buddhist monks were having a break from their daily routines in the beautiful morning light.


Near the temple i knew i could find some vegetarian food (not very common in this part of Asia) and managed to enjoy a delicious noodle soup before heading to the station to get my bus for the 4000 islands!

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