Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Travel: Vientiane, Laos.

So while I lived in Thailand, I had to make visa runs to renew my passport. I decided to go to Laos via coach from Bangkok. A single ticket costs around 500THB and takes you all the way to Nong Khai which is a small border town that sits on the mighty Mekong River. You can then get a moterbike taxi for around 50THB from the town to Friendship Bridge. This bridge covers the Mekong River and is the main road link from Thailand to Laos. Once over the bridge, you go through passport control and get your papers signed and then you can get a bus which will take you to the bus station which is located right in the centre of the capital Vientiane.

Vientiane is a really chilled and relaxed city which was so different in comparison with Bangkok. No teeming, smoggy metropolis, no aggressive entrepreneurialism, this is south east asias most relaxing country to travel in from what I saw of it. Of course, the locals were friendly always smiling and trying to practise their English. I wish I had spent more time in Laos and I definitely plan to go there again in the future.

Patuxay - built in the 1960's to celebrate the independence struggle.

This military museum focuses on the defeat of the United States during the Vietnam War. During the Vietnam War, the USAF had dropped more bombs on Laos than had ever been dropped on any other country in history and to this day, people still get mamed and killed by unexploded bombs in the north of the country.

Vientiane's new cultural hall - housing some of the finest art works in the region.

I met this Buddist monk at one of the temples near the river - his english was very impressive.

People of Laos: This woman was selling fresh vegtables on the street. Many people in both Thailand and Laos make their living from growing fresh fruit and veg and selling it from their carts on the streets.

People of Laos: One of the local moterbike taxi riders with his son taking a rest in the shade.

A wood carving which I found on the door of a Buddist temple blew me away. Just check how precise the detail is - immense!

Streets of Vientiane: The roads in Vientiane are crazy! Take care crossing the roads - I nearly got taken out about 3 times.

I took a walk to the outskirts of the city where I found this temple. The amount of detail and effort which goes into the interior and exterior of Buddist temples are out of this world.

This chime was just next to Patuxay. I love how they use Gold in everything.

The pride of Laos - Beer Lao

I like this little mans smile. He was at the temple praying with his mum.

Here is a water lillie which I just found on random occasions on the streets all over Vientiane - Its my favourite flower.

Sundown as I was crossing Friendship Bridge over the Mekong river on my way back to the Thai border control.

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