The Ban Thongkang Cafe on Sokpaluang Road in Vientiane (near the Siavonne market), is one of those hidden gems you often read about in travel books. Our fascinating host is very friendly and always ready for a chat. Along with her many stories of cooking in Paris with her francophone husband, and boating across to Burma on regular visa runs, she also spent twelve years on a dive boat preparing meals for scuba groups and has over 200 open water excursions herself. These experiences help to create a menu that offers an excellent selection of wonderful Thai cuisine, all for a very reasonable price.
We were enjoying a BeerLao here the other day, waiting for our Penang duck curry, spicy laab gai and sticky rice extravaganza, when I noticed they still had their Christmas tree on display. This in itself was not surprising when you consider the overall kitschy design of the alfresco restaurant with old photo’s, damaged pith helmets, Vietnamese coolie hats, fish traps, Chinese lanterns, dusty gourds and other assorted op-shop treasures adorning the salas within the grounds.
From our seat it looked for all the world as if the authentic cow skull (fresh from the set of an old John Wayne movie I bet) had replaced the traditional angel at the top of the tree. As I wandered over to investigate an apparent homage to a ‘cowboy Christmas’ a lizard fell out of the sky and landed with a thud at my feet.
I had read about this happening in the Dr Siri books, and even joked about it in one of our recent posts, but until I saw it with my own eyes I never really thought that it could get so hot a lizard would no longer be able to cling to the walls with its sticky feet. I guess this little guy was not quite the gecko he thought he was. After a minute or two the apparently non-concussed reptile shot off across the scorching concrete faster than Usain Bolt.
I’m glad he was ok, and happier still that I wasn’t underneath him when he decided to bungy jump without an elastic 🙂