SILENT BUDDHIST MONKS IN SAFFRON ROBES darted this way and that around town, while shading themselves under umbrellas from the harsh midday sun. That same sun illuminated the mesmerizing mosaics adorning the grounds the Wat Xieng Thong — one of Laos’ holiest temples.
Quaint French cottages and open-air cafes lined the peninsula where the mighty Mekong absorbed the Nam Kan River. The croissants were as good as they get, outside of Paris. There was no traffic or horns blaring. Even the vendors at the Night Market weren’t aggressive hagglers like so many other places in Asia.