Vientiane (21/4/2012 - 25/4/2012)
We arrived in Vientiane the capital of Laos after a reasonable 3 hour bus journey around 5pm. After checking our lonely planet we soon realised we could walk to our guesthouse. ..Happy days no haggling with a tuk tuk driver and we got there straight away! The guesthouse was around £5 a night and in all honesty it was the worst guesthouse we have stayed in. However, we did actually stay there 4 nights as it was so cheap! We got there just in time for the storm to start brewing and the heavens opened phew! We managed to go out for food and miss the downpour. We met some fellow backpackers and had a few drinks before calling a night and be back in time for the 11.30pm curfew.
Yet again, we were sharing the same guesthouse as Tom, "the German guy" so the following day we headed out to see some of the city together. Tom is naturally a big Vettel fan and after a lot of banter between him and Dai, we tried to find a pub to watch both the grand prix and the footie, Utd v Everton. We succeeded and had nearly the best of both worlds. An (incredibly overpriced) English pub was showing the Utd game and the guy said he would put the GP on in the break. Everyone was happy until Vettel won and Utd drew. Luckily this pub served excellent "pub grub" food to soften the blow of the results!
Vientiane for a Capital city is very quiet with little to do although it does however have the bonus of a Vietnam Embassy where we could get our Vietnam visas! To find the Embassy was well how can I put it…FUN! It really didn't look that far on the map, no problem we thought let's have a little walk and see a bit more of the city. We certainly saw a bit more of the city that's for sure! After nearly 2 hours of walking and not really 100% sure of where we were going we found it. If I'm honest I found it as Dai totally lost the will to live in the heat and got p***** off walking round and threw a tantrum and refused to go any further! For an extra $5dollars we could get them done that day, why not. If only we knew it was so cheap to get the express service we wouldn't have bothered booking the room for an extra 2 nights! Oh well. The next day we found an outdoor pool and chilled out there and topped up our tans. That night we both fancied a curry, spicy please when asked how hot, brilliant meal until the next day! We were both feeling under the weather and we had a 13 hour sleeper bus to catch that night. Our plans for going to the museum in the day didn't happen as we both needed a toilet close by. Oops, lessons 1 remember the spices are hotter out here, lesson 2 don't eat a spicy curry the night before you have a long bus journey! It was a good job we had until 7.30pm to put ourselves right and we did.
Overall we really didn't do a lot in this city apart from lots of walking! It was quite boring really and overpriced. ..But we are both grateful for the much needed detox and time out from partying after Vang Vien (yes we can't hack the pace like we used to!).
We couldn't wait to get to the 4000 islands.