Vientiane with the yanks...
Vientiane was a really nice city to chill out in. It was certainly the quietest major city out of all the capitals we've been to in our travels. It was in Vientiane that we really noticed that they had not caught on to the obsessive and constant head thumping beeping of horns, thank god! You could comfortably walk on the pavements (most of the time), and everyday felt like a weekend. Hanoi should strongly take note and learn from Vientiane.
During our time in the city we met up with two Americans Sean and Everette. We had spent xmas eve together, tried to go carolling but unsuccessful in finding the cafe it was held in, so opted for a beer Lao and cocktail instead. When our luxury hotel time was up we moved into the guesthouse they were in, infact we moved into their room as they were switching to a twin room, something about having some awkwards moment in the night :) haha
It was quite fascinating really getting to know someone on the other side of the pond. As we grew closer together as friends a lot of questions were asked like, "how do americans feel about...", "what do you call this", and comparing school systems, politics and words such as 'knackered' (it all got quite deep at times). So as they didnt know the word knackered I found it strange how a word like that has an automatic meaning to us Brits, and having to stop and think about how to actually describe and interpret the word was kind of weird and took me a moment to do.
So for a couple of days we hung out together, hired motorbikes to do our visa runs, visited the local swimming pool which had an oily skin on the surface of the deep end, and on one afternoon made a 35KM trip to the Buddha Park (damn i hate how I reference everything in KM's now, I can't wait for the miles again)!
The Buddha park was a small park that contained fairly large to gigantic sized Buddha statues and temples. It had a feeling like walking into a museum exhibition filled with statues of armless ladies and Michael Angelo in London, except for the obvious fact this was Buddhist statues, and it was in a park. Although it was only resurrected in the 1970's, the concrete/stone features looked terribly weathered and if you didn't know the date you could have possibly added another hundred or two years on the date.
So once the visas were sorted and we were successfully granted our 60day Thai visa (even though we only needed 30), it was time to head back up to Luang Prabang by a 10hour night bus ride) and from there we were to catch a two day slow boat to the Thai border...