This can't be a city people are too friendly

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 22, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, March 22, 2010

23rd March 2010


          It was all a bit of a rush the next morning, we were fine getting up and packing our kit up but I had put some Laundry in the day before and the guy promised me it would be ready by 9am the next morning and it wasn't. Gary came back from trying to collect it and dragged me up to the roof of our building where I found a little old lady giggling away, as they all seem to do here, surrounded by loads of washing.  I looked at the pile of clothes that Gary had thought was ours, 'I didn’t know which knickers were yours,’ he said holding up a pair of bright red lacy pants.  Now sorry to disillusion anyone who is reading this blog but I have been very sensible in my underwear selection and have kept with M & S in black or neutral, so not once in the whole time we have been away has he seen me in RED knickers.......maybe he was hoping to spice things up - hopefully not with second hand pants...ewww.  We retrieved all our clothes from the very happy lady, although minus my cap which sadly got over looked, finished packing our clothes away and raced down for the bus. 

The bus journey again was fairly uneventful, this is what happens when you get tourist buses rather than roughing it on the local buses.  It’s all to do with convenience more than money or being a ‘Traveller’.  Some of the bus depots are so far out of town and leave really early in the morning (because they take twice as long to get there) that it is easier to use the tourist buses which pick you up from your guest house).  The villages again were fascinating to drive through although as we got closed to the city centre they are a lot more polished.  There are now more satellite dishes around and therefore more electricity.  The houses are made of wood and brick with very few bamboo ones, but they all still have the pigs and the cows wandering around.  Kids still have grubby faces and big grins, and the mothers still breast feed at the side of the road!!!!!

 As you enter the city of Vientiane you are aware that some of the houses are very big and grand (like the ones in American films) the roads have proper tarmac.  However isn’t huge like a city, more like a big town.  Oh! Its official 7 Eleven and McDonalds haven’t set foot in Laos......remarkable. 

We found a nice guest house (hot water and breakfast and free cake in the afternoons 7.50) it’s a bit more expensive here but then it is a city.  We spent the afternoon looking around, we are back on the Mekong River and Thailand is just over the other side, but there is a major development on the river’s edge and you can’t get near it.  There is a nice square that has some fancy restaurants round it and a fountain in the middle, it is all very French here, little pastry shops and wine shops around.... you can even buy brie here but it’s not cheap.......I miss wine and cheese.

Gary woke up early the next morning, the anticipation of a free breakfast was too much for him as he left me in bed to go fill his boots with free stuff.  He came back an hour later.  I asked him what did you get, thinking it would probably be pastries or cereals, maybe even toast and jams ......chicken curry.  Yes we had spicy chicken curry for breakfast with toast and a rubbery egg shaped like a hart.  Not sure Laos has a breakfast food!  Oh by the way the curry was delicious.

As we have just spent 4 indulgent days in tubing town, we thought we must to something cultural to balance it out.  So we hired bikes.....let’s get this straight this was all we could hire OK!!!  So we set out on our shoppers and braved the traffic to see the few things Viantiane had to offer.  The Presidential Palace, ok but not a patch on Buck House.  Two unnamed solders one each end of the city to guard the entrances, one of them had sex with his maid or something like that it was hard to translate the plaque my French isn’t that good.  The other end of the Presidential Palace up a long road (bit like the Mall in London) was a gateway called Patu Xay, it needed a good clean.  We took our bikes back, it had been an enjoyable day but we were very hot and sweaty and in need of a shower.

Our next stop is a small town of Thakek, this should be a one nighter as I don’t think there is much to do here.....but you never know.

If anyone is following us on a map and some of the name don’t match up, don’t blame me and my bad spelling.  There are many variations of the town names because someone had translated them phonetically so you can get on a bus with one spelling and see a road sign with does get confusing.

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