Ok, as we are currently in India and have visited at least 4 countries since Laos so I am writing one blog to cover it all.We basicaly went to three places over about a week.The entire country was fantastic, so quiet, beautiful scenery, some of the friendliest and laid back locals you can imagine, the best beer to date (and the cheapest; some Wallaces I know would say that these were one and the same) and possibly some of the worst roads of the trip so far.That next town in 100km is a 10 hour bus journey and very sore rear away.
The first stop was the capital city of Vientiane.On the banks of the Mekong River we had a great day cycling round the main sights.This was predomantly temples and pagods'a (they are big on those in Laos) as well as the Arc de Triomphe looking Patuxay.This fine dy was completed sipping beer Laos on the river bank watching the sun going down.
From here we crambed into a very small mini bus that took us to Vang Vieng along an extremely windy and bumpy road.The villages we passed through were amazing with shouts of Sa ba Dee as we passed through.You have to be careful when ordering from a menu in Vang Vieng as anything with special beside it might give you something more than you were expecting.Lots of traveler types here watching endless re-runs of friends.A little like uni halls actualy.
The highlight here was the day tubing.Basicaly being driven a few km up stream with a tractor tyre inner tube getting in floating down and stopping at the numerous river side bars (selling very cheap beer Laos) and rope swings.What a fantastic way to spend the day.Superb.
From here we headed to Luang Parabang.This small town was full of monasteries , temples, markets and monks.One highlight was getting up early to witness the procession of monks collecting their alms.We visited the night market, the palace, the night market, numerous temples, the night market, climbed the hill for panoramic views, went back to the night market, you get the drift. Nice market though. We also went for a foray into the jungle and to an elephant sanctory where we went for a elephant ride through the jungle. From here we kayacked back to the town (5km). This was long and not helped by Hannah capsising our two man boat in the rapids. Thank goodness for our dry bag.
From here we booked a flight to northern Thailand and Chang Mai, avoiding the two day and 10 hour bus trip, money well spend I think.