Changi Airport was no different from any other day, albeit quieter than normal. Christmas Day is just another public holiday in this country of many religions. And Lao Airlines - well, they would be Buddhist, so there were no concessions to those of us expecting at least a packet of Christmas pudding flavoured nuts, or a brandy to speed us on our way! Here they are, discussing just that as they board the flight at Vientiane, where we changed planes to fly to Luang Prabang in the north of the country.
But there were no more disappointments when we landed in Luang Prabang and were swiftly driven to our hotel in the beautiful Unesco heritage town, and ate a superb Italian meal, spurning the turkey specially cooked for the many European tourists in favour of the most delicious pasta.
Our room was simple, simply comfortable with dark wood furniture, white beds and walls, a fan (not needed), aircon (not needed), and a balcony for sketching beautiful views, like this temple roof.
My next blog will be about the people we came across, and I won't mention Christmas pudding flavoured nuts again, or brandy, but Martini might creep in at some point.