Published: July 8th 2012July 1st 2012
This morning we arrived in Vientiane early, with the city bright and the rest of us hardly awake as we got straight off the bus. Having had no room to move let alone unpack had the one advantage of a swift exit. We stayed in the bus station awhile to read, enjoy air conditioning and be half entertained by Japanese cartoons. Having come to our senses, we made our way into town via tuk-tuk and set a slow pace, packs strapped on, to explore any of the town we may have otherwise missed. The boys found an internet cafe to print our tickets and I enjoyed seeing a few temples that we hadn’t gotten far enough previously to see. We bumped into the physiotherapists we’d met from Brighton who are there working in a rehabilitation centre there which sounds really interesting. I also sat with an Australian guy for a while who was waiting for friends to fly in so they could do our journey backwards. He knew South Thailand and I had just found out about Northern Laos so we could switch stories and this passed some time. To eat we found a place set up by a man from Seatle. He lived in Thailand for 25years until the tourism and the negative impact of westernisation had moved him to Laos - where he says he has found the traditional life which he has previously enjoyed in Thailand before the drinking, drugs and prostitution spoiled a country he’d previously called home. He offered something different to local food, opposing MSG, using fresh ingredients and cooking on a massive grill up front. He had no menu as such, just a list of what was fresh that day. Something I always look for in a restaurant, a small menu created on the day which the owner can tell you all about. I had falafel, humus and salad with a beer and on a hot day, what a delicious meal. We then travelled to Nong Kai where we would take our sleeper train to Bangkok. All aboard and familiar now with the journey we settled in easily. Made our way to the bar in the evening and had a few drinks and met some guys from around the world. One of which was a keen diver and experienced traveller, also headed south to dive and who ended up accompanying us all the way there. His ambition is to quality as in instructor, I just hope I can manage a few dives. Slept better on the train than on the bus but could just be the Thai whiskey and what felt like a tonne of space, who can say.
Peace and lots of love to everyone at home from Katie