Tuesday 29th March
We have a flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur then a few hours in the airport at KL, then onto Vientiane in Laos.Can't wait!
We arrive at Vientiane airport and it's pouring with rain - not a good start, although I am actually quite happy as it means I won't be too hot here.We check into our accommodation - it's very basic but is cheap at 90,000 kip.We will look for somewhere to stay tomorrow once the rain stops.We are going for an Indian tonight as there is an Indian restaurant recommended in our guidebook and we need a change in food.The restaurant is called Nazim's and it is fantastic.We have two main courses, rice, two naans and 2 large beers and it's only 70,000 kip around £6.00!
Wednesday 30th March
We find this lovely little guesthouse; at first I said to Henry we are never going to afford this, as it was luxury to us, more like a hotel. It had hot water, wifi, slippers, toilet roll, shampoo, toothbrush, soap, cable tv and a wardrobe with hangers.We managed to get the room including breakfast for 130,000 kip thanks to our new and improved bartering skills, which was pretty cheap for what you were getting.I would highly recommend this guesthouse.It is called Naphavong Guest House on Anou Road.The breakfast was fantastic and the staff were extremely helpful.
Today we are going to explore the city on foot.We start at the Nam Phou fountain which was lovely but had no water in it lol.We then followed the road up to the That Dan, there was not much to see, just an old monument.The road then led us onto the Lane Xang Avenue which is supposed to be modelled on France's Champs Elysees and headed up to Patouxai which is a copy of the Arc De Triomphe.It looks so beautiful from a far.We pay 3,000 kip to go up inside.As you head up the many stairs there are different shops on every level.We then get to the top after lots of stairs but it is worth it for the view!You can see most of the city from up here.It is beautiful.We then head east for 1.5 km and arrive at the famous That Louang which is Lao's most important religious building.As we approach That Louang we are stunned by it's shear size and striking gold colour.As we walked within the grounds there are many old Buddha statues.The area surrounding That Louang had many other temples around it.It looked very impressive and there were so many different people visiting the temples, it was a lovely calm atmosphere.I could have stayed there for a long time.Dusk was approaching so we made our way back to our guest house and since Nazim's Indian meal was so good last night we are going there again tonight.
Thursday 31st March
Today we are heading to the Buddha Park (Xiang Khouan) we decided to get the public bus.We arrived at the bus station early morning to catch the number 14, the bus station was very busy but we managed to find the correct bus even though nobody spoke English.We were luckily enough to get a seat as they crammed even more people eon the bus, there were sometimes 2 or 3 people on a seat.On our way we went via the Friendship Bridge border crossing for Thailand, Henry started to get very worried as he thought the bus was going through the border, I told him not to worry and that it was just dropping people off.An hour later after a very dusty and bumpy ride and also managing to avoid the many cows and buffalos on the road we arrived at Buddha Park.The park is filled with many Buddhist and Hindu sculptures and is located by the Mekong River.There is a large sphere like sculpture that you can climb to the top of and provides great views across the park. The view from the top was lovely so we sat up there for a while as it was so peaceful. The inside and different levels are supposed to represent the crossing from heaven to hell.Within the many different levels of this sculpture there were many sections filled with strange/scary looking statues. This is well worth a visit and a good experience going on the public bus.The bus was 20,000 kip return and the park entrance 10,000 kip per person.We also tried the papaya salad in the café there.It was very refreshing and tasty and was only 6,000 kip (around 50p).