Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
54Trip End Sep 19, 2011
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Where I stayed
We arrived in Vientiane dog tired at about 8 to 8:30, jumped into a Tuk Tuk and headed to the city as the bus station is about 6 miles out of town. We stayed at the River view hotel and as the name suggests is right next to the Mekong in the heart of town. We checked in and headed straight out for some supper.
Vientiane is the capital of Laos and I have read several times that it is also the sleepiest Capital city on earth, cool I should fit right in here then!! As we walked around that night we both got a good vibe about the place, it was indeed laid back. To be honest we did not do a great deal in Vientiane, two months of constant travel and the heavy duty bus trips of the last few days had knocked the stuffing out of us. We had one day when the only time we left the hotel was for food!! A duvet day you could say, well I am on my holidays!! On another day we ended up sinking one too many Beer Lao which was fun. I also had the craziest game of ten pin bowling I have ever played because the alley was so far out of plumb the ball ended up 18 inch to the right every time !!
Laos has one claim to fame and that is it has had more bombs dropped on it than any other country on Earth. The strange part is they have never been at war!! and whats funnier is the Americans denied for years that they ever Bombed Laos. I was speaking to a Lao guy in a restaurant yesterday and he claimed there was a bomb dropped for every person in Laos. In the late 60's that was 3 million people!! After this example of how not to win hearts and minds Laos promptly went Commie and so remains to this day, so much so that you never see a Laos flag on its own, It always has a Soviet Hammer and sickle flying along side it.
One of the places I was really looking forward to seeing in Laos was "The plain of jars". This is a vast plain with jars on it, no hidden meaning here. Now these Jars are scattered around the plain, all carved out of solid stone and some are as large as 7 Feet tall. They are still a mystery to this day and no one has yet worked out what they contained. After looking into a trip there and finding it took 10 Hours to get there and 10 Hours to get back I decided not to bother. Besides the Americans bombed most of them, they must have thought Viet Cong were living in them. I know I will always wish I had gone and seen them but right now I just don't need another 20 Hours on a bus.
I also didn't take a picture in Vientaine, I forgot to take my camera out on every occasion. Hence no pictures. I have however uploaded pictures of Angkor Wat and Khong Island as we arrived this afternoon in Chiang Mai, Thailand were the Internet speeds are so much better than Laos. I will also do my Luang Prabang blog tomorrow and that will put me up to date.