Wednesday October 20, 2010
Language is a funny thing. In our travels we’ve learned that a few miles and simple lines on a map can make a huge difference in our ability to communicate with the locals. For instance, in the Mekong Delta region you can essentially transition from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos in only a few days. This region is generally referred to as Southeast Asia and while there are many differences among countries, the people of the area share ancestors, culture, religion, and food resources.
However, the ability to communicate in English varies significantly among countries, as well as among regions within each country. Surprisingly, Cambodia, although considered the poorest country in the region, is a burgeoning tourist destination and it is extremely easy to get around – everyone speaks English. In Vietnam, on the other hand, far fewer people speak English. In the Laos capital of Vientiane, not only will you find superb cuisine, but you will have no trouble ordering it. However, as you travel away from the main cities and tourist areas, few people speak English. Luckily, the wonderfully gracious people of Laos will do their best to accommodate you.
Photo source: FISHBIO