Vientiane seems so sleepy

Vientiane Travel Blog

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We headed over the Friendship Bridge into Laos, and into Vientiane. We got a tuk-tuk to take us to the bridge. The driver was a woman (the only one we ever saw) and she charged us a fair price without argument, which was also a first. I felt a bit guilty afterwards for not giving her more money for being honest.

We were taken across the bridge on a bus and deposited at the Lao immigration post. Here we bought our 15 day visas-on-arrival, which normally cost US$30, but on the day we crossed cost $31 because it was Sunday.

Having crossed the border we debated for some time the best way to get to Vientiane. There wasn't anyone around who could give us information on the buses, so in the end we had to get a taxi, which seemed a bit expensive to me but we didn't really have any option.
We went for the non-air-conditioned variety to save a couple of pounds.

When we arrived in Vientiane I assumed that we were being ripped off. We'd asked to be taken to a particular guest house, and we did pull up in front of a guest house of that name, but to me it looked like we'd been deposited in some small village or suburb, at a guest house borrowing the name of the one listed in the Lonely Planet. In fact, it was just that Vientiane was much smaller-feeling than I'd expected.

In the end we found a different guest house and settled in.

We headed out later to do a bit of sightseeing. We didn't really have anything we really wanted to see in Vientiane, so we did what was within easy reach: a couple of temples and Patuxai, the Lao equivalent of the Arc de Triomphe. We got out our travel backgammon to play a game under the arches of Patuxai and got a small crowd gathering around us.

In the evening we headed to to one of the French restaurants on a small square near our guest house, where we got the set menu of steak which was a true bargain, and afterwards we treated ourselves to the cheese board; we've been missing our cheese! It was so good we went back the following evening.


Stevie_Wes says:
Interesting... I was only just sat here plotting a Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia itinerary for the coming months (esp. the Visas and Vientiane) and up pops your blog! :)
Posted on: Nov 18, 2008
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Patuxai
Patuxai
Ceiling at Patuxai
Ceiling at Patuxai
Stefan the 7-11 bear at Patuxai
Stefan the 7-11 bear at Patuxai
Patuxai
Patuxai
Mmm... steak
Mmm... steak
Cheese!
Cheese!
Vientiane
photo by: skydiver