08.10.11 - Vientiane Day 2 - Boobs and Bum - oh and Buddha Park!
Today is Leah and Danny's wedding anniversary, so first things first - happy anniversary guys!
.....Last night I had the pleasure of chatting with four of you lovely peeps from home. First was mummy, second was Ree Ree, third was Em and of course last but not least was Scott - except unfortunately for Scott 1am my time he had the not so pleasure of seeing me sun burnt and tired from the days excapades! LOL. Nonetheless, it was great catching up with all you guys since being away, thanks so much! :0)
I think as a result of talking with everyone and probably getting a lot of comfort out of it without even realising, last night was probably the best sleep i've had since i've been away. So following suit from yesterday, I got myself ready and headed straight back the French Patisserie for a lully breakfast. Fried eggs, bacon, sausages and beans with a coffee all for the bargain price of 30,000 kip - equivilant to about £3 I think!!!
So after a good hearty breakfast I was ready for day two in the Capital of Laos. I had planned to visit an organisatin called Cope today. It is a centre dedicated to supporting vitims of the unexploded (or exploded now) bombs which fell on Loas during the secret war. Apparently 260 million bombs fell and sadly 78 million of them failed to explode. This organisation supports the victims caught up in these bombs, mainly in the rural areas, not least providing mentoring and and training programs, including the manufacture of high tech artificial limbs and rehabilitation activities. Turns out however that when I arrived there it is only open Monday to Friday. Boo who, I was gutted! Still, there was still plenty to see in Vieniane so instead I'd decided to visit 'Buddha Park' (Xiang Khuan) instead.
So bloody funny. The reason i've titled this post 'Boobs and bums' is because I feel like my boobs and bum have been on a journey of there own today. I previously mentioned the lack of good roads in Laos from my journey from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. My god. For the most part the 25km journey to Buddha Park today, it was fine. Except of course for the gravelly, muddy, pot hole filled throughpass which we travelled on for about 25 minutes of the journey. The tuk tuk was chucking me around all over the place. I think he was probably only able to go about 5 mph, but even then it was the most bumpiest ride i think i've ever been on. It was actaully really funny to fair. I was a lone passenger on this tuk tuk and good job really because if anyone else had been on board we'd have fallen into each other's laps! My boobs have never seen so much movement in there entire life, I promise you. My ass!!! jez!!! l'll be surprised if it isn't black and blue tomorrow. The good thing Is..... the journey was great and something i'll probably always remember....... not least my two black eyes tomorrow no doubt, too!!! LOL!!! Raz the rag doll!!! Blinding! (Literately!)
Buddha Park completely blew me away. I was not expecting this. It was beautiful! Very small and i was done walking around after 40 minutes, but i've honestly never seen anything like it. i only headed there because Cope was closed, and being called Buddha Park, I think i've probably seen enought Buddha's these past 10 days to last a lifetime. However THESE buddha's were something else! Huge statues / monuments all congregated together surrounded by greenery and backed onto the Mekong River. Not least today has been scorching and the views coupled with clear blue skies and the heat beating down on me, it was glorious.
Of all the temples i've visted since being away you tend to find being inside them so peacefall. This park had the exact same effect. There was a paricular monument which you could climb inside, by reaching the top and overlooking the entire park. Whilst I up there I sat down and literately just looked out and lost myself in peace and tranquility with the beautiful views beneath me. It was stunning and I'm so pleased I made it there. My boobs and bum doubly happy to have a rest for the 40 mintue break too, i'm sure! :-)
Coming back into town we took a different route which I hadn't seen yet and found myself right next to the Mekong. After being dropped off I decided to take the footpath along the Mekong and head for the night market. I ended up coming across a structure of a Laos soldier which looks like it is soluting to the river. This isn't mentioned in the Lonely Planet so unfortunately I don't know what it is, but it was lovely all the same. The sun had started to get really low by this point, albeit still really hot so I grabbed a drink and sat in the shade, watching everyone on the night market selling there things and the local patrons bargaining for there goods. Quite something really.
Whilst sat there chilling out and taking it all in, an old American guy called Barry, i'd say around 60 ish came along and started chatting to me. He told me he's lived in Laos for 6 years now and plans to retire here. He is a builder and overseas a lot of the building work which goes on here..... managing the local staff too- so I suppose for want of a better title he was a foreman. I'd say we sat and chatted for near on an hour. He was really interesting and seemed to enjoy my conversation too so whilst I waited around for the sun to go down enough before setting I didn't mind talking to him to pass the time. it's funny the things people volunteer about themselves upon first meeting them. Typical American he was enthused to tell me everything about him, what he's accomplished and where he's not only lived but also visited in the world. The most interesting thing I took away from the conversation was that he'd once lived in San Francisco, where Scott and i will be going on holiday next year so I took note of the cool places to visit from this guys recommendation.
Watching the sun set over the Mekong as I walked back to the night market was lovely. It had been such a beautiful day with hardly any clouds that the whole sun down was gorgeous. I took a heap of photos before heading to the the market to find some noodles for my dinner. I'm proper chuffed.... I've FINALLY got the hang of chop sticks!!! I think i'm a pro now!!! LOL
Sat back at the GH typing up this blog I'm so excited about tomorrow, for I fly to Siem Reap (Cambodia) to visit Angkor Wat. My flight is an early one, deparing 06.30am local time so I have to be at the airport 2 hours before. We go via Pakse - (there are no direct flights) and I believe we land in Siem Reap at 9.25am. I'm so excited. Angkor Wat is going to be the biggest highlight of this trip for me. ALWAYS wanted to go there! They call it the 8th wonder of the world, and I really hope it is everything I want it to be. i don't know how long I'll be in Angkor Wat for because quite honestly I want to see it all so i'm taking the next few days as it comes. I can't wait! :-)