Dull and Dusty in Vientiane

Vientiane Travel Blog

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I've been told by more than one traveler that one night in Vientiane is sufficient.  I have some time to kill and am not exactly gunning to see things, so I figured eh, I'll stay a few days, doesn't matter that there's nothing to do.  It's supposed to be slow and relaxed and didn't sound like a bad place to spend a few days.  Yeah, well, those travelers know what they're talking about.

I ended up spending two nights, as I arrived Friday evening after the sun had gone down.  The ten minutes I spent walking around looking for my guesthouse immediately confirmed the fact that it'd be a short stay.  There is NOTHING in Vientiane.  And it isn't one of these places where nothing is a good thing; there's no shade or riverside hammocks or chill spaces where one might want to spend a few days perfecting the art of leisure.
  It's just a loud dirty city, reminiscent of China (minus the fact that it's short a billion people), with gray concrete and scorching sun everywhere you turn.  It's not particularly nice.

Saturday was my only full day in Vientiane, and I spent the day wandering the streets with fellow TBer Francis.  We just sort of walked whichever way our whims took us, ultimately getting lost and taking a tuk-tuk back to the tourist area (never a bad way to sample local life).  We had a late lunch at a so-so Indian restaurant and then parted ways to mellow out for the afternoon.  All in all it was a good day, but one with nothing to show for myself.  Seems to be standard operating procedure for Laos.
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photo by: skydiver