Oh My Buddah!

Trip Start Oct 02, 2006
Trip End May 10, 2007

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, February 10, 2007

The trip from Vang Vieng to Vientiaine was a somewhat crowded affair and our first true glimpse of Lao bus travel. The journey started ok. We were sat in the back corner of the extremely rusty bus... we were the lucky ones who got there early enough to get a seat. As we travelled through the gorgeous countryside more and more people (and their bags of rice) got on the bus, and no one seemed to get off. By the time we reached Vientiaine there was not a visible piece of seating or floor available for any passenger. Thankfully the outside temperature was only 30 degrees and the fans werent on!

Vientiane is quite a nice city. On our first evening we took a stroll around the town up to the monument whose name escapes me now, but its the Laos equivqalent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Its got quite a funny story attached to it... The concrete it is built from was donated by the Americans to build an airport runway. Whether this was an apology for bombing the shit out of them (2.2 million tonnes of bombs in 9 years) or a genuine aid effort - who knows. Anyway, the Lao people took it upon themselves to use the concrete to build a huge Arch at the end of their main road in and out of the city. The funniest thing is that theyve put a plaque up at the bottom of the Arch to thank the Chinese for it! Tee hee.

We took a trip out to the Buddha park - about 25km (1hour by bus) outside Vientiaine. It was safely one of the most bizzare places weve ever been to. There are hundreds of concrete buddha and Hindu images, including a HUGE reclining Buddha and a 3 storey Pumpkin filled with all sorts of strangeness... mostly concrete buddhas etc.  All a bit weird, but nonetheless a nice peaceful place to go to retreat from the city smog and "traffic".
The bus journey back was a bit interesting... a lady got on the bus with no fewer than 1500 eggs!(Abbs did the maths!) Not the easiest thing to do I can assure you!
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