Kualao Prepared to Host Delegates for ASEAN Summit
Nestled on the corner of the capital city’s landmark That Dam Intersection, Kualao Restaurant is ready to serve the over 5,000 guests and delegates expected to accompany the various Heads of State/Government attending the ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings next week in Vientiane.
Recognized as one of the most popular authentic Lao food restaurants, Kualao has established itself as the go-to place for Lao government officials and high-level foreign dignitaries. A leader in authentic Lao food, it is trusted by much of Vientiane’s business and foreign diplomatic communities.
In the past, distinguished guests have included three Japanese Prime Ministers (Junichiro Koizumi, Yoshihiko Noda, Keizo Obuchi), Japanese Imperial High Highness Prince Akishino, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus, President of Singapore S.R. Nathan, many high ranking Lao and foreign ministers.
“We have made many improvements over the last few months in preparation for the guests and delegates,” says Kualao Director Dalaphone Pholsena. “We have completely refurbished the toilet facilities, installed high-speed wifi, revamped our official company website and Facebook page, and upgraded our wait staff’s customer service skills, among other things.”
“One of the things that we are committed to maintaining is our food quality, on which we will never compromise.”
The restaurant received quite a number of foreign delegates during the 10th ASEAN Summit in 2004 and the 9th ASEM in 2012, both of which were held in Vientiane Capital.
“It’s a nice place, conveniently located. And it has parking…on a first come-first serve basis, of course,” one Laos-based diplomat told Laotian Times.
In a small city filled with high quality cars but low quality driving education and enforcement, parking is increasingly becoming harder for both locals and expats to find. With the traffic police having been designated with the task of cracking down on illegally parked cars, in particular those parked near the sidewalks of major streets (namely, Samsenthai Road, Setthathirath Road, Jao Fa Ngum Road, Lan Xang Avenue), the problem has only been exacerbated.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Education has mandated that schools in four major districts be closed to ease congestion for the foreign delegates, all of whom will be diligently escorted by motorcades.
One local observer notes that while the country is highly dependent on money from the tourism industry, English language skills among service workers still needs improvement. Many waiters and waitresses working in local restaurants are unable to sufficiently provide adequate table service to foreign tourists due to a lack of exposure to international standards.
“We recognize that there is an industry-wide dearth in fluent English speakers. While our waiters and waitresses may not be expert interpreters, we are confident that their smiles and eloquent body language can compensate for the absence of linguistic fluency,” says Mrs. Pholsena.
While the restaurant generally accepts walk-ins, guests are advised to book a table in advance through the website (www.kualaorestaurant.com) or by telephone at +85621214813.
Established in 1994, Kualao Restaurant is Vientiane’s most popular, internationally recognized, upscale and authentic Lao food restaurant, where both local and visiting diners bask in an ambience that flawlessly reincarnates the romantic and sophisticated atmosphere of early colonial French Indochina. Kualao is discretely, and conveniently, nestled on the corner of the city’s landmark That Dam Intersection, which is known for the famous ‘Black Shrine’ stupa that sits at the center of the nearby roundabout. Read more at www.kualaorestaurant.com.
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