The few photos to follow will give only a taste of my experience of Phonsavon, but I hope it gives an idea of why I would want to have stopped there even without the special events that were going on. Children were everywhere, so there are shots of them below, at the carnival and going about their routine business. There are street shots too, not in themselves interesting as photographs perhaps, but which give an idea of what the main street (Route 7) looked like. There's a bank sign and a banner announcing the 36th Lao National Day, something on the lines of the 4th of July here or Bastille Day in France -- a big deal. Comments will follow below each picture.
Leaving the Hmong festival. The traditional garb juxtaposed with the motor bike was amusing, I thought.
Getting a haircut. I got a good haircut very inexpensively and managed to amuse some of the regulars. If you are in town, you don't have to go to the more nicely appointed shop (in a real building) to get a good clip. Notice the homemade chair, which turned too!
Here are some kids, having fun , just hanging out or walking:
Friends leaving the carnival
Girls jumping rope. I remember when all it took here was a stick or piece of rope to keep a child entertained. No more.
These little guys were walking on the side of the main road when a woman yelled at them, presumably to get out of the street, as they moved onto the sidewalk until they were out of her sight. The older one took good care of the little guy, but staying on the sidewalk was not part of the deal.
Having a blast on bumper cars
Who knew jumping around could be such fun!
Hanging out. Anglo-Saxon formalities requiring three feet between any two males are obviously not in play. Physical affection between friends was ordinary.
Cotton candy the old-fashioned way
A quintessential Phonsavon shot. Constructions is everywhere.
Typical scene on the main street, Route 7. Charlie bought an extra bag at the luggage shop shown.
I just liked the shot; we didn't go to Nam Kan, but it's only 136Km if you're headed in that direction.
Harbingers of the 36th Lao National Day. Later in Vientiane a man told Charlie he should know what the day meant, that it was "the day the Lao got back their country." All in all, it's best to let citizens of the country in question decide such things.