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snippets of blackwings life

Vientiane – The sleepy Lao capital

PagodaAfter another bumpy ride from Viang Vien to Ventiane in a “Super VIP” Bus (they should take courses in Malaysia, to find out, what VIP means…) – Basically: It was hot, I felt squeezed in and the ride virtually took forever. And it was expensive. Transportation in Lao all in all… Sucks.

Mekong viewBut here we are: The Lao capital… Vientiane. Seems really sleepy for a capital – It perfectly resembles the way of life that I have seen in Laos. On the first afternoon I used the time to walk around a little bit – And within a few hours I knew most of the city center stretching alongside the Mekong.

GateIn Vientiane I chose PP guesthouse, right next to Mekong river (which had really low water, cause of dry season) for just 50000 kip per night. In Vientiane everybody got prepared for Sonkran, the Buddhist New Year, which last from April 13th til April 15th. As I wrote before, Sonkran is celebrated using vast amounts of water – in order to pour it to others (for refreshment…).

World peace gongI arrived at the 12th – and I got completely soaked even on the way from the Bus station to the guest house. But I knew what to expect, so all my valuables were tightly sealed in zip-lock bags. Other tourists were not so lucky – and freaked out. Because of this, I have very few photos of this procedure – Because I did not want to get the camera wet. During the night, there was a huge thunderstorm – But after that it really cooled down a lot. During daytime it was around 35c…

That LuangOn the 13th, I decided to get a bicycle again, to visit the That Luang, the national symbol of Laos, which is located about 4km east of the city centre. I cycled around for hours – and got some minor sunburn again. Actually there was quite much to see – and That Luang is definitively worth visiting.

Beer LaoI spent the afternoon with cycling around the city and chilling in some cafes. Later in the afternoon/evening the water pouring increased drastically – Almost everybody had kind of SuperSoaker water guns or used something else to get the others wet. I did participate in this funny game right next to my guesthouse, where the owners gratefully invited me to join them – And I greatly enjoyed it. Later in the night, around midnight, another thunderstorm passed by, so the party died down a little bit – But loud music was played almost all night long at the Mekong esplanade…

I left Vientiane at the 14th by plane – And be REALLY sure to bargain down the price the TukTuk drivers try to charge you! They start at something like 8 US$ for the 10 minute ride to the airport. I finally got it for 4 US$ – which is STILL really overpriced… But sometimes you have no chance!

filed in laos, on tour

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