So… I created a bit of an issue with my carry everywhere point-and-shoot Canon Elph 110 HS that I bought for my trip to Thailand/Laos. Let’s just say a visit to the factory will be required… don’t ask. If I mention “water buffalo” will that suffice?
So, I was surprised at how seriously “off” I was feeling not having a camera on me everyday—almost a sort of withdrawal; great situations begging to be photographed just seemed to be flying by constantly. Sure, I’ve got a camera in my iPhone 3GS but the lens is badly scratched and using a cell phone as a real camera doesn’t do it for me—crap form factor. And, my EOS kit and accessories weigh almost 40lbs, so that was out of the question for trip snapshots. Laos is a place where you really should have a small camera on you at all times. There are just too many interesting things happening.
So, while making a Visa run to the Thai border, I discovered there is a Canon Concept Store in Vientiane run by SOA, Co. I have to admit, I wasn’t holding out for much. I really didn’t believe they would have what I was looking for.
So I was genuinely surprised—I was surprised because I’ve only come across one other store in Laos that had a decent selection of electronics, but they didn’t carry Canon. Long story short, I sent a message very late on Thursday to SOA’s Facebook page. And I had a message waiting for me Friday morning. We messaged back and forth a bit and they let me know that they had the camera in stock, in the color I wanted (I’ll take a camera in any color as long as it is black), and what the price was. Pricing was higher than in the USA, which I knew beforehand. But, it was cheaper than in Thailand, which really surprised me.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a woman named Tar. She was quite helpful (despite my atrocious pronunciation of the nine Lao words I know), got the camera out, charged the battery, installed the SD card, and set the time/date. And brought me a glass of cold water (it is about 97°, but the ‘feels like’ temperature is about 111°). Nice service! So, just for the hell of it, meet Tar:
If you happend to be traveling in Laos and need some Canon gear (they stock everything from “L” glass to point & shoots to printers—and I think they have Apple products also), stop by SOA’s Canon Concept Store and take a look around.