I don't speak French
Vientiane Travel Blog› entry 23 of 39 › view all entries
ANDREI - A fun 10 and a half hour "VIP" bus journey from Luang Prabang to Vientiane (capital city of Laos) saw us arrive at 6:30pm and rather keen for a shower!
Kerry - yes the bus trip was only meant to take 8 hrs to get here! but after 7 we were only at the stop for Vang Vieng and so we still had 3-4 hrs to go!! The road was not disimilar to that that we had experienced in Bolivia!! Also it was sooo sooo windy for ages! I am glad we did noty make the trip in the dark! The scenery on the way though was really great, some of the nicest we have seen in Asia - deep lush green valleys and mountains surrounding it!
So we arrived in Vientiene and it was boiling hot! We hopped into a little mini van/tuk tuk to take us to the centre so we could fine some accommodation. We were looking for a place called Joes Guesthouse, that had been recommended in my book, but when we got there it was shut! so we had to wander around to fine somewhere else - there is no shortage of hotels/guesthouses in Vientiene, but we were looking for somewhere reasonably cheap. the first place we came accross and looked at was just awful and it was the first time since i have travelled that i have not taken a room - we headed to the Syri 2 guesthouse, which was slightly better and decided to stay there. For 3.50 a night for 2 of us we could not complain. That night we headed to a lively restaurant for some food (Khop Chai Deu), and ended up having a feast as Andrei ordered a set menu which was loads of dishes! We were also serenaded by a duo who played various love songs - started off ok, but by the end it was a bit depressing to be honest!
the next day we decided to head off to the Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan) which is out of town so we took the local bus to get there! This was our first real adventure on public transport in Loas and was really good. Once we got to the bus station and found the bus we needed (number 14) we get on and waited for it to leave. Meanwhile locals all piled on, and took any space available - seated or standing. the journey took about an hr with a stop at the border with Thailand called Friendship bridge, where lots of the locals got off to do their duty free shopping!
We got to the park and were a bit disappointed to see that the Mekong had decided to flood part of it as well, and as we only had our flip flops on, we were not able to walk around the park as freely as we would have liked to! Nevertheless it was a pretty cool place. It is full of very large and oddly shaped buddas and other creatures from buddhism and hinduism that were designed by a priest-monk-artist called Luang Pu Bunleua Sulihat. We took a lot of photos and then had our lunch by the river supping a beer.
We took the bus back to the centre, which was again an experience as all the locals got on at the Friendship bridge with their duty free good, so we were sharing with countless poeple as well as tables, rice cookers and various other electronic goods! The rest of the day was spent roaming around the centre - visiting the Vicroty Monument and the riverside. There is not a whole lot to do in Vientiene really, so a day there does suffice. It was also so quiet and laid back, you could not really believe that it was the capital city of Laos!