this day had the making of something not very extraordinary, a lazy day of visiting the royal palace museum in the morning then back to the guesthouse to sleep away the hot afternoon, were it not for the fact that i along with a dozen japanese tourists staying at my guesthouse were invited to a wedding reception (the brother of the woman who runs the place was getting married). it wasn't anything spectacular, although there were probably easily 200 guests. but how often do you get invited to a laos wedding reception? the after dinner dancing was interesting, never noticed it before, but laos men and women don't touch when they dance; at best they can initiate some kind of synchronized line dancing, but usually it's just a bunch of people dancing in place like timid middle school kids.

the royal palace museum doesn't allow photography, so no photos. the most interesting thing was the exhibit of gifts from other countries. it's not so much to see which countries the laos monarchy used to call friends, than it is to see which countries give the good gifts and which the bad ones. the united states gave the king some moon rocks and a miniature laos flag that was onboard the apollo 11. LBJ gave the king a set of brass candlesticks and a brass bowl, along with a large coin featuring the likeness of - you guessed it - LBJ himself! just as a historical note, laos no longer has a monarchy, after the throne was exiled in 1975 following the communist revolution, the royal family disappeared into the northern jungles.

dried rodents: can't make out whether they're rats or squirrels. just when i thought laos food was pretty tame!

unknown wat on kitsalat street

mekong river

dried rodents

my street (coldriver guesthouse)
(notice the golden stupa on the hilltop)

meet and greet

bride and groom arrive

buffet reception