Today we arrived in Vientiane the Capitol of Laos and our last stop here before leaving for Cambodia. We had a very quick bit of sightseeing, visiting the Laos version of the arc de triomph and Wat That Luang Stupa where the bones of the Buddha are kept. The best stop was the COPE centre which makes prosthetic limbs for people injured by cluster bombs. During the vietnam war America secretly and illegally bombed Laos to prevent communists in the north reaching the democratic region in the south ( which the americans were supporting). Laos is the most bombed country in the world and over 10 years more bombs were dropped in Laos than in the entire second world war , approximately one every 8 minutes. We paid for a limb which was only £ 50 but most of those who were bombed we're farmers and young children and the families can't afford the treatment or rehabilitation. It was very sad but important to understand the history and how people are still being affected and how the american government are doing relatively little to help considering it was just them that sanctioned it.
Anyway before coming here we were in vang vieng which is a hedonistic backpacker haven and therefore boring if you don't drink. It had beautiful scenery but the town itself is very westernised. The locals call the drunk people monsters because they as Buddhists do not drink or take drugs or wander round in public in skimpy clothes. Quite a few people got sick from the food too so all in all our least favourite place so far!
Looking forward to Cambodia although it's gonna be even hotter!
Sam & Anth