A layover in Laos

Vientiane Travel Blog

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Temple Entrance

I arrived in the Laos capital, Vientiane, and it was pleasantly hot and steamy.

The airline had lost my luggage so I was to experience the joy of having to stay an indeterminate period of time until it hopefully arrived.

A guy in my hotel told me he had waited 9 weeks in India for his lost luggage to appear. Naturally, it had totally ruined his entire holiday plans.

I was hopeful. I had to be.

 

After a walk around the town, predominantly looking for the only location in the country possible of issuing cash to foreigners, I noted that it was quite an ugly city. Construction was going on everywhere and most roads were in terrible condition.

Main Temple

 I checked out the city Temple and noted, with humour, that they were also hosting World Cup soccer games in the evening in the temple.

I walked along the river where I saw kids happily swimming and men fishing under the cooling crisp glow of the sunset. I had to pause to reflect on how simply beautiful life can be.

That night I met a local French chef in the bar who took me under his wing. With his moped we visited a bar on the outskirts of town. It wasn’t till we there that he explained the bar was filled with girls… not prostitutes, but local, poor, more-or-less homeless girls who simply wanted a comfortable bed and breakfast in the morning. It seemed like a reasonable deal. They were all cute, tiny little things and very friendly. It wasn’t really my thing and I was really only thinking about getting back to the airport to check on my luggage.
Main Temple
The bar closed and I was happy to head back to my air-conditioned room alone. It was an interesting night and I even ended up with my luggage!

 

The next day I checked out another temple and then it was off to Luang Prabang in the north.

 

Luang Prabang is a very touristy town full of the typical hippy type of backpacker. The ones with no shoes, no hygiene, very little hair care, almost no money, and not many brain cells left. They all sit around trying to outdo each other with travel stories of increasing levels of danger, difficulty, extremeness and basic stupidity. I've got no problem roughing it and travelling cheap. I just dont see the point in putting myself up on a pedestal and snubbing anyone else who isnt wearing hemp, carries a credit card and hasnt walked barefoot across India in the summer.

Main Temple

 

Luang is a very pretty town and is actually World Heritage listed for its colourful streets of French Colonial housing. They are slightly disappointing and would recommend a walk through Singapore’s Chinatown in preference any day.

 

I took a day trip up to a waterfall, which had beautifully crystal clear water and some nice scenery. I got sold some dodgy re-bottled water and got to experience the entire journey being thrown around on the back of a tuk-tuk.

 

I didn’t get to make it to the real backpacker mecca of Vang Vienne and soon found myself on a plane to Hanoi, Vietnam.

nnddmm says:
rastasnobs. beware-- europe is infested.
Posted on: Jun 28, 2007
AndiPerullo says:
I just love your writing...
Posted on: Jun 04, 2007
annadean says:
H
beautiful Pictures & a nice story.
regards Denise
Posted on: Jun 04, 2007
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Temple Entrance
Temple Entrance
Main Temple
Main Temple
Main Temple
Main Temple
Main Temple
Main Temple
Colourful gardens
Colourful gardens
Laos Arc dtriumphe
Laos Arc d'triumphe
Shades of Sunset
Shades of Sunset
Afternoon on the river...
Afternoon on the river...
Temple
Temple
Dodgy Monk Builder
Dodgy Monk Builder
Temple Soccer
Temple Soccer
219 km (136 miles) traveled
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Vientiane
photo by: skydiver