There's a swingin' town I know...
Vientiane Travel Blog› entry 40 of 100 › view all entries
February 14th, 2007 – by: jimcowdrill
Found myself a bed in a sweaty dorm room on the top floor of the Mixay Guest House and didn't do much with the rest of the day. Ate pork laap for dinner in a wooden restaurant overlooking the Mekong, sluggish and barely visible over wide mud flats. Got bitten to shit by mosquitoes. Pondered where to go from here.
The next day was a fairly hot one - getting perilously close to a hundred degrees. Vientiane was one of those towns where I seemed to take forever to do anything, and the heat is as good an excuse as any. I'd see a 'sight' in the morning, spend two hours on lunch, see a 'sight' in the afternoon, go online, then have a very leisurely dinner. A beer or three, then an early night.
On the first day, then, I visited Patuxai: the Lao Arc de Triomphe, it says here, which sits at the end of a long, wide avenue that by Lao standards is almost grand. The sign at the bottom of the arch notes that it's not the most attractive construction: "like a monster of concrete," as they put it. The LP makes some condescending remark about how endearing honest the Lao are, innocent of first world concerns like marketing. Yeah: it's either that or it's a thinly-veiled communist dig at the pre-revolutionary goverment. Who can tell?
A bit further down the same road was Pha That Luang, a golden monument whose full name translates as World-Precious Sacred Stupa and whose picture graces the front of the LP. Coooool. Took a lot of photos. That was it for the day.
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