Yesterday we decided to go and explore the town a bit, so we left Tash and Rob, who we are sharing a room with, and went for a walk.
We wandered for a bit and eventually headed down to the riverfront where we had been the night before. Here we bumped into Tash and Rob who had he same idea as us but weren't sure what to do either. At the hostel they had advertised a trip to somewhere called Buddha Park, so we figured we would check it out. We managed to get a tuk tuk cheaper than we would have from the hostel and drove quite a way out of town to get there. It was built in the late 50s and is literally a large grass area with loads of Buddhist and Hindu statues. We started in something they call the pumpkin, which is this massive circular structure which you walk in through a giant mouth in a face to climb up through the three levels to reach the top, looking at the different statues inside. The bottom level which is supposed to represent hell was pretty disturbing with lots of skulls and people being tortured! At the top you get a view across the whole park which was pretty cool.
We climbed back down and wandered around looking at all the other statues including a giant reclining Buddha. It was a pretty strange place but I'm glad we went to see it.
We headed back and decided to check out the hostels pool, but it was green and you couldn't see the bottom so we decided not to bother, but we did see a sign in a closed building for a real cheap Indian meal deal, which we thought we would all check out later. We spent the rest of the afternoon chilling in our room before getting ready to go out for food.
We double checked the map on the sign for the Indian and headed off in what we thought was the right direction. After walking for a while and taking some turns that felt like we were heading back the way we came. Eventually we saw a sign with the restaurants logo and an arrow pointing down a side street, when it opened up a bit we realised we had come full circle back to where the map was!
On our way we had passed a grill place and decided to head back there which as a good call as the food was amazing!
A few drinks back at the hostel and we all headed off to bed.
Today we decided to find a public pool we had been told about. We got there and it was a really nice big pool with sunbeds around the edge. We spent a few hours here but Tash and Rob are getting the sleeper bus to Hanoi tonight so we headed back so they would have time to eat and shower before leaving.
We are planning a chilled one tonight, possibly going back to the same restaurant as last night. We have booked our bus to Vang Vieng for tomorrow so we will be heading off in the morning to there. We were going to go to Phonsavan after that to see the Plain of Jars but have now decided it is a long journey out of the way just to see one thing so instead are going to head straight to Luang Prabang. From here we have wimped out and booked flights to Hanoi rather than the 24+ hour bus. This is a decision we are feeling even happier about since someone said there friends bus took 38 hours yesterday! This means we will be in Vietnam in time for Shane's birthday.
This means we will be in Laos for less time than originally planned, but we feel that we will have seen everything we want to and Vietnam and then Thailand at the end should be cheaper living costs which should help!