I love Laos. I have been here a day, and I absolutely love it. I don’t care about the vast distances we are going to shift in various transports, or the increased malaria risk, or the increased language barrier, it is a beautiful country. Last night was really nice, which has made getting up early to check-out and tuk tuk around arches and temples that much easier. The breakfast left a bit to be desired, but if that’s the only downside to Laos, I will take it and run.
6 of us (Mairead, Katja, Jade, Leianne, Patty, and I) all piled into the back of a big tuk tuk and set off for the Patuxai victory monument – Laos’s equivalent of the Arc de Triomphe. It was very impressive, and for just under $0.50, we were able to climb up to the top and have great views over the city. After there, we visited another temple with a museum in it. It was a very impressive building, strange shape, with some cool artefacts and things around the outside courtyard. Just outside there was a lying buddha, and a huge temple that we didn’t have time to go in, we just ogled from the outside. Once we finished there, we visited an older temple with some significant statues inside. Lots of offerings had been made, the only place I have really seen monetary donations.
Once we were back at the hotel, we decided to finally go for that ice cream that we couldn’t fit in the night before. I tell you, Lek wasn’t wrong, the ice cream was really nice, and for just under $4 we got two big bowls and a big bottle of water. Not at all bad. When we returned, we were ready to make our way to Vang Vieng. All I knew about the place is that it’s famous for the scenery, adventure sports, and methamphetamine, so I was a bit unsure what to expect. I was getting the hang of not getting travel sick until this bus journey, the windy roads were just not great for it.
At the stop, it was the return of the squat toilet. There haven’t been nearly as many as I had feared there would be. These also happened to be pretty OK by squat toilet standards, they even had toilet roll. I’m never going to get to the point where I will use a squat over the western toilet unless the western one is god awful, but I am getting used to them no, I won’t hold on to avoid using them.
The roads may have been windy and vomit inducing, but the views were unbelievable. I can’t think of enough, or appropriate, superlatives, that can describe it. Laos is an extremely beautiful country. I really love it here, already, when I have done nothing really. When we got to our hotel, we were hoping for a room that overlooked the back – the mountains and cliff faces. And we got it, huzzah – our views are finally getting better. We didn’t even have to request this one. Once we arrived, the first priority was Lara, getting her to a doctor. Hopefully she will feel better soon.
Afterwards, we got showers and changed, and walked along the road to a riverside restaurant, that despite our troupe, was in a very romantic setting. It’s hard to imagine the party lifestyle and riverside bars whilst sitting here. The food was really good, and an early night was required, under our princess mosquito nets. Kayaking, Tubing, and the mystery of the blue lagoon. Should be a good’un!