Tag Archives: Capital

Don’t panic – it’s just Vientiane

Patuxai, Vientiane
Vientiane’s “vertical runway”

Capital city time! We’d breezed through Bangkok, but had been pleasantly surprised by the intensity and charm of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Phnom Penh, so the Lao capital Vientiane was an exciting prospect, even if our main reason for going was to buy visas from the Vietnamese embassy.

It’s not the bustling city you might expect, though. It’s quite small, in fact – with little-to-no regular night life. Still, we arrived and were treated that same evening to an apparently famous Thai rock band playing a free gig alongside the Lao National Culture Hall.

Continue reading Don’t panic – it’s just Vientiane

Putting Phnom Penh to paper

Independence Monument, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is mightier

The transition from Singapore to Cambodia’s sprawling capital city Phnom Penh feels a bit like Marty McFly travelling from the pristine future to a Biff-ravaged alternate 1985. There’s not as much on fire, and no one calls anyone a “butthead”, but the relative comparison is sound.

First thing’s first – transport form the airport. March straight past the taxis, with their air-con and English-speaking drivers, and head for the marginally cheaper tuk-tuks beyond – you’re a backpacker now, remember? You don’t get taxis. Continue reading Putting Phnom Penh to paper

Keen on KL

We descended from the highlands refreshed and reinvigorated, and reluctantly acclimatising to the renewed heat and humidity of the lowlands. Props to Mr Cameron, and that glorious quasi-English climate he discovered.

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Best pronounced in a Bill & Ted accent. “No way, Petronas!”

First impressions of Kuala Lumpur (or KL as it is commonly known) included: Ooh, look at all the tall buildings; Aah, what a lovely clean monorail; Hey, look, Petronas!; and, finally, Titty wangs are great!

Unfortunately, aside from the giggle-prone name, there is no reason to go or stay in Titiwangsa. Great! Continue reading Keen on KL