Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Ah, our last few days in Laos before we take a quick flight down to Phnom Penh in Cambodia. After a warm nights sleep in a somewhat dirty and dark guesthouse that didn't have much of any air-conditioner and no hot water, we hit the streets somewhat refreshed.

Our first stop was a nice coffee shop for a quick breakfast, then off to walk the streets of the Capital.

Presidential Palace
View from the top of Patuxai

We wandered through the streets past the Presidential Palace, to the Haw Pha Kaeo, through Wat Si Saket, and then over to their version of the Arc de Triomphe, Patuxai. The temples were beautiful, Haw Pha Kaeo is home to what are called the best examples of Buddhist sculpture in Laos. The Wat Si Saket is an older looking Wat and it believed to be Vientiane's oldest surviving temple, and contains over 2000 images of Buddha along with 300 Buddha statues, most from the 16th- and 17th- century but with some coming from 15th-century Luang Prabang.
We wandered through their markets, disappointing compared to what we are used to in China, and then stopped at a small noodle shop for lunch. Here the lunch seemed closer to the Vietnamese pho, and it was delicious. A lot of walking and checking our guide book and we come to the conclusion that in just over a half day we've seen most of Vientiane, huh - what to do tomorrow?

This is where Tina is genius as she suggests just moving our flight up a day. We head into the Laos Airlines office and they quickly change our flight to fly out a day earlier...
Now we are good, we stroll along the bank of the Mekong River and stop to have a drink at one of the small relaxing places built out over the river. Or they would have been over the river in the wet season, now they are just hovering over sand. We walked out on the sand to the actual river, and then when the sun was starting to set we climbed back up and grabbed a seat at a rooftop bar overlooking the river.
People walking out to the Mekong River
Sunset over the Mekong

Then we wandered over to an area with a fountain surrounded by restaurants with outdoor seating, where we enjoyed a nice French meal...

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