Vientiane is for the rich kids....

Trip Start Jan 08, 2011
Trip End Dec 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Chantra guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 118 ;

Sometimes your luck is in...

Spent a good four hours this morning, into afternoon in an internet cafe as we put the 16gb card through the photo recovery software - success...!!! A few more hundred pictures retrieved and by luck dotted from all over. Some from Nepal, some from the beaches, some from Hampi and more, so two very happy bunnies now!! Will stop taking photos on these cards and when we get home buy some commercial software see if it can find any of the videos, but we are very happy and very lucky!! So to anyone who has lost any photos and researched it on the internet but not tried, thinking as we did that they would have been overwritten - just try it, because ours weren't , well not all of them, so give it a go....!!!!
!!!Free coffee!!!result!!! with the internet so about 6cups later between us [yes, Claire has finally relented and is now becoming a coffee freak!] we were ready to move..!!!

Collected our bags by two o'clock, tuk a tuk-tuk to the Thai-Lao friendship bridge, there we were stamped out of Thailand, hopped on a bus which took us across as we looked along the mekong river in either direction then on the Lao side obtained our visa on arrival and we were through in minutes, from there a local songatheuw bus and dropped by a market, north of the main traveller drag. where I decided that no, we would not pay a tuk tuk the same amount for a two kilometre ride as we had just paid for a twenty five kilometre ride... which was probably a silly idea as Claire will now explain, but just on principal!! Sick of tuk tuk drivers, well and truly, and I needed a decent bit of exercise (he is only putting this to not sound stupid in a min when you read the real story) !! And for once it was as funny at the time as hopefully it will be in the future.

I came pretty close or as close as you can to killing Phil today (joking) Phil being Phil was looking in the guide book figuring out which way we had to walk, I however asked a tuk tuk driver who pointed us in the other direction that Phil wanted to go, we started walking Phil way, at one point he said " listen to me see I know not the tuk tuk driver" (keep this in mind for the rest of this) [and in my defence, we have just literally left India - you know, where tuk tuk drivers will tell you the wrong way just to get a kick, or simply because they don't know but would rather tell you something than nothing, ahh, how sweet of them.NOT! And we have already found that here as well.AND.. I have got us to the right place more than I have got us lost] we walked and walked and walked, I decided treading in cow poo in India simply was not enough my foot wanted to stand in more, not being particular light footed in any way I steped straight in a hole full of water, mud and every thing else, a brick was missing so if you have small ish feet you will know they fit perfectly.
After a wee tantrum asking Phil why he hadn't just paid less than a pound for us too have a tuk tuk, we carried on walking me Phil and mud foot!
I did start winging quite a bit, I think I was aware we had walked way over 2 km, coming to a point where neither of us wanted to walk any further the bags tumbled to the ground, a old Lao lady came over she spoke French and helped us out, we ended up getting a tuk tuk anyways but it cost twice as much ( nice money saving idea Phil) laughed about the fact we should still not be making ridiculous mistakes like this anymore and intialy got where we wanted it the TOTALLY different direction, Sorry Phil what was that I heard you say, I'm soooo sorry Claire I made u walk for miles and miles in the wrong direction and you had been right all along (phil did not and has not said this - he just laughed)

Quite expensive here and the whole kip thing really throws you for whatever reason, sure we could pay in baht but we are in Lao so kip we will try.. and surely some money gets lost in translation between their made up baht-kip exchanges so we will see how long it takes us to get to grips with it.

Not realising today is Friday we now have to wait until Monday before we can get our Vietnamese visa from the embassy, before we had got here we thought we might rest here a couple of days. having arrived, a day would be fine and we could spend our saved time somewhere not quite so expensive, with nicer scenery and just a few less travellers, company is good of course but there's a fine line between feeling comfortable and uncomfortable and seems whenever we find ourselves somewhere like this we just want to run as fast as we can.

Anyways, still, we will rent some bikes and see how far and how lost we can get, so can't wait!!!!

Day 119 ;

Did nothing, wandered around, through the park and along the promenade they are in the process of constructing along the Mekong,

Claire went off to buy shorts, we ate and watched a lot of tv - its ridiculously humid here!!

Watched the thunderstorm and the girls/boys not sure?? From the shared balcony at the front.

Day 120 ;

Again we were boring boring people and did pretty much jack, we walked?? keep seeing all these barbecue stands in the street where they cook meat all day long - I will be eating!!!

Meat lovers paradise here in Thailand, Laos and I guess Vietnam, they love the chicken and pork and the smell of barbecue chicken all day drives your stomach nuts!!!

Expensive here and all the sites are so far away that taking rickshaws here there and everywhere will just blow the budget, plus we're trying to save up so just one meal a day while we're here and some long boring days but not every day can we be spending money so it won't hurt, and unless you want to look at the same looking temples all day long, you don't have much choice but to either sit in cafes - which equals money, or in the room, so we did.

Tv, walking and dinner - barbecue dinner....mmmmm....

And our favourite hobbie of vientiane, sit over the edge of the balcony and watch the evening storm and the girls/boys??? on the street below, yes we are that sad!!

Day 121 ;
The day has finally arrived it is Monday at long last, so of we went to the Vietnam embassy to get our visa, got there nice and early at 8am to find that on Mondays it doesn't open till ten so spent the next hour and half playing cards in a cafe across the road, when back a little early and it was open, done the paper work and unhappily handed over 900,000 kip total about 34 pounds, we have to go back again tomorrow morning which is a pain in the butt.

Had yet another crossiant for breakfast, then took a walk to the museum, quoted in the book as something not to miss, well the book is wrong it is well worth not going, we have seen more interesting buildings on the side of the road and as far as the stuff in it we have seen a lot of it before or very similar, you can't take pictures and there is no written information to inform what exactly you are looking at.

And don't forget, being a "foreigner" as quoted on their signs, we get the privilege of paying double and then a little on top - when I get home I want to go into politics....guess what laws and rules I want to bring in????

Had some lunch, veg somosas which I believe come from India, but taste much better here, and some chicken satay squers.
Chilling out until tomorrow, getting bus at two to finally leave here! Ya
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