Tuesday, February 9, 2010

But how is it pronounced?

Twenty-four hours later and I'm still not any closer to figuring out how "Vientiane" is officially pronounced. Most westerners seem to say vee-en-tee-ann, but I've also read that it's pronounced we-en-chan, vee-ang-chan, we-en-teeyan, or some combination of these. I also haven't figured out how to say hello (but I think I'm on the right track) or other basic phrases, and I have no idea what traditional Lao food is like. This may be forgiven since I have only been here for a day, but this is one of the (many) reasons why couch surfing has been so great. Having Toto in India and Sam in Bangkok show me the ropes was truly invaluable, particularly because I met both of them in large cities in countries that I'd never set foot in before. Have I sung the praises of Couchsurfing.org recently? Because it's high time I did.

Anyway, I mostly just wandered today to get a feel for the city. Although I wanted to get both my Vietnam and China visas, I only applied for Vietnam. With the upcoming Chinese New Year's celebrations, embassies will be closed so I would have had to pay extra for one day processing for one of them and then do regular three day processing for the other (your passport can't be in two different embassies at the same time). The Vietnam visa is only good for 30 days and I could only get single entry (I half think this was a language barrier issue, though, as single and multiple entry were both options on the application form). Since I'm trying my hardest to get to China to meet a friend on March 15th, it's looking like I will only be in Laos for two weeks before heading to Hanoi. I'm still trying to figure out an itinerary, even a very loose one, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to reenter Vietnam and Laos after China. Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. Shan,
    Vientiane the capital of Laos is officially
    pronounced Vin-Chin if that helps.

    love ya