15 December 2008

Wat more Buddhas!

We left Vang Vieng on Saturday to go to Vientiane on what we had been told would be a VIP bus. We thought a small, shabby form of transport would take us to the main bus station to board the VIP bus but no, the small shabby minivan that picked us up in town was the VIP bus! The four hour bus journey wasn't too bad, the only nasty surprise was looking up when I was in the loo at the halfway stop to find a man looking in at me and smiling from the next door roof as the toilet cubicle had no roof, what a sicko! I did ask my husband to sort this man out but he was too busy with his Cornetto.

Anyway we arrived in Vientiane the capital of Laos late afternoon. It is a very quiet, small place for a capital. We are staying at the Orchid Guesthouse which is very nice and on the riverfront of the Mekong. After the rubbish food in Vang Vieng we were very keen to try out some of Vientiane's better restaurants. Some expats describe the city's eating as dollar for dollar the best in the world, and so far they haven't been wrong we have had some great French food for just a few pounds. Yesterday we tackled some of the city's main sights. First we went to Patuxai which is a bit like an asian Arc de Triomphe. It is sometimes called a vertical runway as it was built with cement that was supposed to be used in the construction of a new airport. Please see the sign below for how it is brutally described on a sign stuck to the building!

Then we went to Pha That Luang this is the most important national monument in Laos. As you can see below it is a vision in gold! The Lonely Planet describes the monument as looking like a gilded missile cluster. So we have lots of pictures below of all this glittering gold, and more gold items and Buddhas from the two surrounding temples.

Next we headed off to Wat Si Saket it is believed to be Vientiane's oldest surviving temple, and just in case we hadn't seen quite enough Buddhas already, this Wat contains 7000 in all, photos of a few of our favourites are below.

Today, Monday, we have been to a very odd sculpture park called Xieng Khuan. It is described as 'bizarre but compelling in it's naive confidence'. I'd just call it very odd, and let you make up your own mind from the pictures below.

1 comment:

  1. Hope man on top of al-fresco style toilet cubicle wasn't busy with his cornetto!!! What a perv!!!