The Lazy Capital.

Vientiane Travel Blog

 › entry 47 of 105 › view all entries
I awoke several times in the early morning, catching sight of some stunning scenery before drifting back to sleep. We arrived at Vietnam immigration which was quick although we had to pay an extra $2, one for a "stamp fee" and the other for "overtime" seeing as it was early on a Sunday morning. We walked across the border. It was strange as the Laos side was thick with mist. We couldn't see where we were walking too but eventually the visa point appeared and the process was again quick, although another $1 inconvience fee had to be paid. We were back on the bus and off into Laos. Music soon came on and oddly the first song which escaped the speakers announced "welcome to Thailand" but the music for once was bearable. The swedish girls were really friendly and shared with me their food which was brilliant as my stomach was aching with hunger. I munched on oranges, nuts, crackers and other things as we made our way to the country's capital. We got off the bus and took the tuktuk into the centre of town. The difference was shocking. For a capital the place was so quiet. It had a beautiful feel to it. Lying next to the Mekong, people were so laid back. There was no pressure, no constant in-your-face locals trying to make a sale. Tuktuk drivers swang on hammocks at the back of their vehicles, either whispering "Tuktuk" or waiting for you to ask for their services. No offerings of drugs, no women, nothing. We picked a hotel with friendly staff. Had a shower and hit the quiet streets in the late evening. We passed a pharmacy where i weighed myself. I had lost 8kg in 7weeks (that was with clothes and after a day of eating). Crazy. I couldn't believe it. I knew i had lost weight but didn't know it was to that degree. We bought a bottle of the famous BeerLao, supposedly the best brew in SE Asia. I thought otherwise. But it was still good, refreshing and we drank it overlooking the river as the sun set beautifully behind it. As night falls, vendor/restaurants set themselves up along the river. Mats, cushions and low tables are positioned along the banks where you can grab cheap and tasty meals. I decided to treat myself, buying a large plate of barbequed chicken and a bamboo pot of sticky rice. We invited this friendly Indian guy to our table and ended up spending the night with him. We ambled from cafe to bar, bar to cafe, buying fruit-shakes,iced coffees and beers. Saying "yok" (cheers) with the locals and chatting until our bodies grew tired. While the girls hit the sack, i bought some snacks and went to the English Pub, the "Hare and Hound" to catch a bit of the football, Man U versus Chelsea. And it was goodstuff seeing as Man U lost. I then listened gleefully to my iPod as i fell asleep to my nightly vivid anti-malarial dreams.
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Vientiane
photo by: skydiver