Edit Blog Post
Published: February 18th 2009
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
One of the many things we've learnt on this trip was never to assume anything or have expectations of how something will be or look. One runs the risk of serious disappointment because the assumptions or expectations will always be wrong. It's part of trusting God and learning to take life as it comes.
We left Vang Vieng on a "VIP" bus for Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. In typical Lao fashion everything was late and filled to maximum capacity! Also, "VIP" means no aircon, very cramped, and extremely dodgy! During the four hour trip we had to stop a few times so the driver or his assistant could do something to the engine. We just wanted to get there! The drive was rough. To slow the bus our driver would give 3 or 4 short but mighty pushes on the brakes so it was once again an eventful trip (we expected an accident every time he got on the brakes).
We arrived in Vientiane and the bus dropped us very near our guest house of choice. Lucky us! They were way too expensive (we've come to realize in order not to under budget
you have to double whatever the price is in the guide book and then you're in business). We had passed a gorgeous hotel called the Heritage Hotel. It's an old Laos style house and a little less expensive with breakfast included. We couldn't resist!
After a shower to get rid of the travel dust and sweat we walked around town getting our bearings. We found a cool joint to play pool and have some "fresh spring rolls". These were raw veggies rolled in thin uncooked dough. Nice taste but strange texture. Ferdi won the pool game by a narrow margin. We then sat outside and enjoyed some very hot Indian food and a couple of pitchers of Beerlao.
1. Arrived very close to our very nice guest house
2. Enjoyed a game of pool (Talita claims she let Ferdi win :-)
3. Happy hour! Two jugs of beer later Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
We got some bicycles and went to the Vietnamese embassy to arrange for visas, cause you have to have one on arrival. You can't arrange it there (unlike the other South-East Asian Countries).
On the way there we saw the Patuxia.
They say it's a replica of the Arc de Triomphe (Laos used to be a French colony), but Ferdi had seen the real thing and this was no replica. Still pretty though.
We arranged and paid (US$100 ouch!) for our visas, but we had to come back the following day to pick them up.
We took the scenic route back to our area and went in search of a travel agent to see about flights to Hanoi. They quoted us a very reasonable price, but we went to see if we could get it cheaper on the internet. It worked out WAY more expensive to do it online so we booked our flight for the 21st of February through the travel agent.
We enjoyed great Chinese food and some coconut milk straight from the coconut, then rode our bikes to a hotel with a pool (we had to pay almost as much as our lunch to use it). We enjoyed the cool water and sat reading our books for most of the afternoon.
1. Cruised the streets of Vientiane like locals
2. Easily arranged visas and flight to Vietnam
3. Reading our books and
chillin' by the pool
Tot: 2.996s; Tpl: 0.06s; cc: 21; qc: 165; dbt: 0.105s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.8mb