07.12.2008 - 10.12.2008 28 °C
After our full day kayaking adventure, we finally arrived in Vientiane at 6pm. Thankfully the tuk tuk driver dropped us off in the centre of town so like all the other passengers, we could make a mad dash to a guesthouse. Luckily we secured the last room available in the Sayseely guesthouse which was bright and airy and thankfully came with a hot shower which we were seriously in need of.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, located in the Northern region sitting on a curb of the mighty Mekong River. It's neighbour Thailand can be easily seen on the opposite side of the river. It's a small yet bustling city with three main streets parallel to the Mekong forming the heart and pulse of the capital. Vientiane turned out to be an ideal place for us to settle for a few days whilst we confirmed forthcoming travel arrangements & visas.
Vientiane's version of Paris's Arc De Triomphe
During the days whilst waiting for our tourist visas, we visited the nearby Buddha Park and Pha That Luang, the most important national monument in Laos.
Pha That Luang
The Buddha Park is a grassy park filled with Hindu and Buddhist statues 25kms south of Vientiane. Some of our favourite sculptures are pictured below:
In the evenings we strolled along the riverside, curiously observing the local market nightlife. At night the warm humid temperatures with cool sweeps of breeze made it an even more pleasant experience to sit outside the riverside cafes and enjoy the local Lao cuisine. We especially loved chicken Laap which is their national dish. It's made up of minced chicken infused with zesty limes, lemongrass and fresh mint usually served with sticky rice and eaten best when washed down with a cold Lao beer. Highly recommended on those warm nights.
After receiving our tourist visas and having explored all the sights in town, we booked the next overnight bus out of Vientiane to Pakse. The ticket said it was a sleeper bus but we had no idea we'd actually get a bed to sleep on instead of a seat....check this out!