We were delighted to wake up to a bright and sunny start after a very restful nights sleep in a double bed all to ourselves! We then began the search for a bed for the night and were quite shocked to find that what was on offer was even more basic yet even more expensive than Vietnam, despite prices for other amenities being much lower.Having eventually secured a family run place on the banks of the Mekong, we tried not to look as the entrance was where they kept the dirty pots for their restaurant opposite, which meant that not only did it smell pretty bad but was also full of flies!! Eager to get out of our accommodation, we set off exploring the town which consisted of 2 main streets that ran parallel to each other, and were full of small jewellery shops and really nice french style restaurants. At first glance, it did not appear a typical Asian town with the strong French influence here,( it was them who added the 's' onto the endof Lao when they invaded) in terms of the architecture and such, but the ornate temples, nestling off the beaten track and the abundance of monks going about their daily lives, it was quite clear that we were far removed from Europe. After heading to a couple of the local shops and markets to hone our bartering skills and secure a few gorgeous bits of jewellery and with the clouds rolling in, we decided on an afternoon of catching up on our journals and friends back home over the internet, before sampling the shower which was quite literally a hose pipe! Nice....After dinner, with everywhere seemingly shutting up due to curfew, we headed home a little disheartened at the lack of nightlife, despite everyone raving about the town!