I visited a new Korean/Japanese restaurant last night. The service was superb, probably the best I have ever received. The restaurant is brand new and they are really trying hard to impress their customers. They’re a new restaurant and we were the only customers for the night. Vientiane restaurants generally seem to be very quiet, except of the big ex-pat hang outs like Sticky Fingers or Bor Pen Nyang. When T and I arrived two security guards saluted us, which I think is the first time anyone has done that to me.

They gave us a ton of free food including flattened fish ball skewers, sushi rolls, and fruit.

There is a large Japanese and Korean community in Vientiane. I once met a Korean traveler who had just finished working two years in Morocco as a volunteer. South Koreans have to all do two years military service or alternatively, they can do a volunteer program to work in a developing country.

I think there are many English schools that are run by Koreans. Koreans may actually come to Laos to learn English too, that’s the waitress told us she did.

When we left we got a free gift, a magic calculator.

My housemate has been to a North Korean restaurant in Vientiane. Apparently it was all a bit weird. The staff come out occasionally to sing or play the drums, but they only mime. The music they play is North Korean revolutionary music. I’m sure more of the lyrics pay tribute to North Korea’s glorious leader. The restaurant is government owned and run. The thought of the North Korean government preparing my dinner makes me anxious.