Tag Archives: Laos

Laos -the Land of a Million Elephants

Getting a Laos visa could not have been easier: I went in yesterday and returned today. For some extra euros I could have waited to receive it immediately. You may be wondering whether it can be obtained upon arrival and the answer is yes. But I did not go to the Embassy solely for the visa, I went also for that very important “first impression”. I believe embassies are like mirrors (or telescopes?): they give you a hint of what to expect when your actual journey begins.

So, based on my brief stay at the Embassy, what can I predict that the upcoming Laos journey brings me? The answer is Delicious Food!! I arrived at the Embassy just before the lunch break and the entire court yard was filled with exotic, divine aromas. I was prepared to do some serious chit chatting and try to get an invitation for the lunch, but in vain I returned home in rain…

The photo you see is my Laos visa. To take a photo of it, I needed something a bit heavier to hold the passport pages open and the first thing that came to my mind were the elephant statues from Kerala, India. After taking a couple of shots I realized the coincidence: the elephants have been used for centuries to help people with heavy stuff, and there they were for me too when I needed them! Secondly, in the early history of Laos there was a Kingdom called Lao Xang (established in the mid 14th century), and a translation of those two words brings us to the “A Million Elephants”.