Can THIS be the capital of Lao?

Trip Start Apr 16, 2005
Trip End Jul 28, 2005

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, May 28, 2005

Hi Everyone!

Well, we're out of Lao now, so we can finally use the Internet! I'm going to have to do all my updates in one go here, so if you're interested in what we did during our visit to spectacular Lao, please read the updates for each major stepping stone along the way.

As our friend Mark said, "the thing about Lao, is there's not much". So true. There's not much in terms of infrastructure or development (or decent food), but there is so much of the other stuff that makes travelling so much fun - tranquility, beauty, nature, time to spend sitting around chatting and reading, and as much excitement as we care to handle. We had only planned on spending a couple of weeks here, but ended up staying a month before we realized it. Time flies when we're stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken down truck.

When we arrived in Vientiane we couldn't belive it was a capital city. Dirt roads and dust storms. I think the tallest building is 5 stories! The contrast between Hanoi and Vientiane was a bit of a shock, but the snails pace of life here was kind of a nice change.

We spent only two days in Vientiane touring around by bike and sawngthaew (converted truck with vertical benches on either side) with Tom, a Canadian guy we met at the airport. The highlight was probably Buddha Park, a bumpy 30 km ride outside of the city, where huge concrete statues of Buddha in various positions are presented on a field. A bit weird, but very nice and interesting. The largest statue, a reclining Buddha, measures 40 metres in length.

Since the city doesn't offer too much in terms of excitement, so we quickly set off to Vang Vieng to do some trekking.
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