Vientiane - Laotian capital

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Where I stayed
Grotty little hostel

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The capital of Laos is Vientiane, pop 300,000. It's a nice city with elements of those Frenchies still characterising it and I even managed to make myself understood in broken French, with a little help from international sign language and a not an inconsiderable amount of finger pointing. First night we went bowling! Not exactly traditional Lao activity but it was good banter and the bowling alley must've been new back in the 80s.It was a proper time warp. Next day we rented bikes and lazily peddled our way around the city seeing the sights. The main attraction is Patuxai, which is a Lao Arc De Triumph and has a hilarious story behind it. The Americans gave the Lao People a load of cement back in the early 60s so they could expressly build a new airport, did they? No they certainly did not. They figured a gigantic concrete edifice was a much more practical use! It’s not even finished as they ran out of money and I guess patience when the PDR took over. There is a quite an impressive presidential palace, the Tha Pharat Wat which boast the statue that Lao reveres most and a load of trendy cafes and bistros. We ended up having dinner down on a sandback that is being seriously developed probably with waterfront property on the horizon. The food was excellent, even more so considering it was being cooked up at the side of the road in an open kitchen. I don’t wanna think about Hygiene but I haven’t been sick yet so either i’ve been lucky or i’ve been blessed with a superior immune system. There’s a few nice terrace bars and the breeze was a godsend as since it suddenly got HOT again. 40 plus degrees and sticky. Not nice.  We’ve been starting to get serious rain storms too which I guess is the start of the Monsoon season but I hadn’t banked on that starting till June so hopefully it doesn’t really kick in till we get through Cambodia otherwise the next couple weeks could be wet.

  I didn’t have too much time as I decided against going back into Bangkok for fearing of getting shot or worse, getting ripped off by those (expletive deleted) Tuk Tuk drivers again so decided to see some of the south before meeting my buddy Byran from Lux. But before that....
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