I visited Udon Thani over the weekend and paid a visit to the Centrepoint night markets. There was a market stall that only sold balaclavas, machete knives and a single baseball bat.

The markets in Udon Thani and Nong Khai are very different to the markets found just across the border in Vientiane, Laos. They’re much newer, spacious, diverse and cleaner.

After living in Laos for a while now I am starting to appreciate its differences with Thailand. Thailand has only Japanese made motorbikes while Lao ones are mainly Chinese made. Thailand has nice manicured garden everywhere and fantastic roads. Thailand has a lot of politcal announcements through speaker cards taking place at the moment, as there are elections coming up in about a month. Nong Khai and Udon also noticeably have a large number of older foreign men. Vientiane has a larger mix of both younger people and women. I think this is because Vientiane has a greater number of tourists and aid workers, while Udon attracts older men who want to retire in Asia.