We arrived in Vientiane and were dropped off at the side of the road at the north end of the city … left to figure out how to get to the center. We tried to catch a bus for 3000 kip, but they were too full and wouldn’t take us. We stopped a tuk-tuk and he wanted to charge us 60,000 kip each; that was too much! Finally, we found a tuk-tuk that would take us BOTH for 30,000 kip, yay! We told him the name of the hostel we were hoping to get into and he took us straight there in about 30 minutes and we checked in.
We made our way to the night market by the river and walked around there for a bit and I did some shopping. There was some sort of Chinese festival happening and we watched a performance for a little while. They were all dressed up and dancing around. I had some pork and sticky rice for dinner from a vendor, then later had a Nutella pancake. Yum!
I spent the next day shopping around for souvenirs and thought I would visit the COPE centre, but ended up going for Indian food with a couple guys and it was amazing: really good food and super cheap! I headed toward the river to see a couple landmarks, found a statue and it had been decorated and there were tents set up with flowers decorating everywhere and lots of people for the festival. We made our way past one of the famous Buddhist temples, Wat Si Saket, but decided not to pay to go in. I’m sure it was just as beautiful as all the other Lao temples.
The next morning I packed up my bag and reluctantly hopped in a tuk-tuk to the airport. Leaving Laos, which made me a lot sadder than I had expected. I really enjoyed this country and, not just because it had already had a special place in my heart – associated with an ex-boyfriend …, but because it had also exceeded my expectations. It was so green, diverse and beautiful and most of the people warm, welcoming, helpful and gentle. It was so interesting to see how it compared to Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s not as modernized or set up for tourists; it was a nice break from the chaos. I bought a few final souvenirs, exchanged the last of my Laos Kip for Thai Baht, sent some last minute postcards and had a quick green tea/chocolate chunk blizzard from Dairy Queen. Then, I set off for Thailand!