A little down the road from Vongprachit guesthouse are steps leading up to the summits of 2 hills (one on either side of the road) with views of Udomxai town & the surrounds. The cat made it up to the more popular one, Phou That, & got stuck there till dusk & didn't make it up to the other, Phou Sai.
Phou That - the hill topped by a chedi & a monastery:
Look somewhat like pretty Chinese New Year cookies stuck on:
View towards bus station:
Think the mini 'that' (stupa) beneath the tree houses the ashes of some deceased person? You will find several on the grounds of any temple, some even with tiny photos of the deceased.
Udomxai town centre:
click here for full version
Town centre close up, with a big fat new multistorey structure rising up right smack in the middle:
Did a quick exploration of the dry goods section of the market on the way back from the BCEL bank right next to it. As expected, it was full of Chinese & Thai imports. Even in a relatively super ulu (remote) place like Hat Sa in Phongsaly province, the cat would find instant noodles from China with the face of the lead actress (Lee Yeong Ae) from the hit Korean TV series Dae Jung Geum (大长今 aka. Jewel in the Palace) plastered on the packaging ;)
Every Lao town cannot do without its Kaysone monument:
For tourists, the local Kaysone monument serves as a useful landmark & reference for orientation & giving directions =P The black billboard beneath carries a human trafficking awareness message. Laobumpkin has a clear photo & has written about it here.