Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…more than done with Vientiane

As mentioned in my earlier post on the Lao capital, I spent too long in Vientiane. That’s not to say that I didn’t have fun, but more than a week there (for a tourist) is probably unnecessary. With my sweetheart 7700km away, other than sitting by my private pool, here are some of the fun things I did:

Awww
roundabout_stupa

Went to see Pha That Luang

Pha That Luang is the name no one uses for the Golden Stupa, because the second is much easier for us whities. This is considered to be the most important landmark in Laos and is worth a few minutes walking around it. It is a stupa, it is golden and it needs to be repainted.

pha_that_luang

Climbed the Arc de Triomphe

view_from_acr_de_triomphe

Pha That Luang may be the most important monument in Laos because the others they just nicked from other countries. The Arc de Triomphe — or Patuxai (‘Victory Gate’), if you’re fancy/local — in Vientiane is a monument to those who gave their lives fighting off the French. I feel like there’s a beautiful irony there.

arc_de_triomphe_laos

arc_de_triomphe_vientiane

Despite the clear similarities with the European structure, there are a few traditional Lao touches to the design, including market stalls selling rubbish on the floors inside it and signs that don’t make much sense/no one cares about.

arc_de_triomphe_inside

no_passing_a_grass_sign

laos_graffiti_sign

Patuxai was built with American donations of money and cement that were meant to be used to build an airport, but why bother with practicalities like that?

Good to see the Naxis doing their bit etc etc

Buddha Park

buddha_park_vientiane

Getting to Buddha Park is a hassle. There are a few ways to try, but don’t bother with the bus because they’ve changed the route so it no longer goes to the park — even though the bus driver will tell you it does — instead stopping nearby where you have to get a stupidly-priced tuk-tuk to the gate and having no real choice because you’re so far from anything. If there are two of you, it’s cheaper to get a tuk-tuk from town for the day.

weird_sculpture_laos

The park is the results of some crazy man who decided to create some weird Buddha-inspired sculptures.

My favourite was this thing that looked like an apple with a mouth that you can climb through.

buddha_park_laos dusty_buddhas

inside_a_mouth

After that, there’s just a quick stroll round the other monuments and then home. Directions to the exit are confusing (I legitimately can’t remember if I thought of this joke myself or just remembered when Dave made it).

buddha_sculpture_vientiane

DSC01710That’s more than enough information for me, thanks

Sat by the pool

I went here a lot. The cheapest way to cool down in town and pretty much mine and mine alone.

vientiane_cheap_swimming_pool

Saw a lizard

lizard_on_wall

In South-east Asia? Whoa.

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2 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    No, I only suggested that they give the apple-with-a-mouth an exit anus too.

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