Yesterday Marc and I had breakfast in the hotel - we usually do that, it comes free with the room and why not. Usually the breakfasts are at least ok, and often they're wonderful, especially in tropical places. But yesterday morning, we were sitting in the unremarkable restaurant of our unremarkable hotel, sipping our brilliantly orange 'juice' and it hit us both at the same time. We've tasted this before...........tang! Yes, in this semi-tropical place, with fresh fruit on every corner, we were drinking tang. And we suspect the eggs were of the powdered variety, given their texture and color. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and free or not, I didn't want to waste any more vacation breakfasts on such bad food. (Oh, and Laos is known for its coffee -- the coffee in our hotel was bad instant. Not even good instant. Bad. Instant.)
So this morning we decided to go to a nearby bakery, which was highly rated in Lonely Planet and on TripAdvisor. Really, very highly rated, like, almost #1 in both places. And they said things like "you could eat every meal here and still want more." So off to Joma Bakery we went, this morning, in keen anticipation. (Well, I went in keen anticipation, seeing as how I love breakfast. Marc, not so much with the breakfast.) Granted, we've gotten used to having piles of amazing food that ends up costing us a couple of bucks. OK, we're in that context right now. But what we got this morning was (a) unremarkable, and (b) at New York prices. Too bad. And last night we stopped at the other highly-rated and always listed bakery, Scandinavian Bakery, for donuts. (Donuts seem to be a favorite Lao sweet, and what do you know: they're a favorite Lori sweet too.) Again, the context, really cheap amazing food. And again, unremarkable food at NY prices. The donuts were about $1 each. I KNOW!
We just returned from a dusty, bouncy ride out to Buddha Park - a bizarre, freakish, Disneyland of eastern religion iconography. As soon as I fix the photos, I'll post.