Trip Start Feb 16, 2010
21Trip End Apr 08, 2010
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Where I stayed
As we did have all the best intentions yesterday of being cultural, and it failed miserably, we thought it best that on our second full day in Vientiane we had best see atleast one temple
We took a long walk up to see the 'arc de triumph' (Patuxai), from a distance it looks quite spectacular, but up close im afriad the same can not be said. There is a plaque underneath that also declares that upclose, the arc resembles a concrete monster. It was never completed, so this may be why. It was built with cement given to them as a friendship grant from the USA, we figured this was just buying their hand in war. Now it is a park for the locals, and at sun down it was quite a hive of activity. Jumping a tuk-tuk, we headed up to the mos important national monument in Laos, the Pha That Luang. Reminisent of a gold pyramid, it is used as the symbol on the national seal, and as the logo for all kinds of buisnesses and events. Acting on ome advice, we headed up to se the stupa just as the sun was setting so that we were able to see quite how brightly the gold stupa shon. The stupa was initially built to house a piece of the Buddahs brestbone (which we thought was a little bit strange), and today it represents the Buddist religion and also the sovereinghty of Laos
As far as a capital cities go, in all honestly i think that luang prabang was lucky to have been striped of this title, as compared to LP which is still very charming and ornate, Vientiane is very ordinary. We are truely beginning to realise that in some places, travelling is about the people that we travel with! :)