Last known location: London, England

The Quiet Capital

We arrived in Vientiane early evening and checked into the Inter-City Hotel, which had some rooms with river views.  Ours didn’t, but the room was pretty nice.  We’d decided to treat ourselves to a decent place after a week or so of roughing it in some fairly unpleasant rooms!

After luxuriating in an almost-hot shower following the hellish bus ride we headed out to explore the city.  Vientiane is, without a doubt, the quietest and smallest capital I’ve ever been to.  Which adds to its’ charm, I think.  It is very attractive; with loads of colonial buildings (some of which are rather dilapidated) and pretty river views.  The capital was also by far the most touristy place we’d been to so far in Laos.  There was even an “English” pub, which we were later to discover served the most disgusting white wine I’ve ever tasted!

Vientiane is famous for it’s varied and tasty restaurants and we had some lovely meals there.  With a strong French influence we thought it would be rude not to sample some steak frites, and Dan pushed the boat out further by sampling a chocolate soufflé.  Enormous, but delicious!

Because we’d spent so long on buses over the past week or so, the last thing we felt like was getting in any sort of cramped vehicle so we explored the city by foot.  Fortunately there aren’t too many sights, so we peered at occasional statues, temples and Buddhist monuments in between indulging in the very French cafe culture that Vientiane does so well.  There were some great little cafes where we enjoyed some lovely coffee, and the odd cake!

Our time in Vientiane might have passed without incident had it not been for my lovely boyfriend (or is it fiancé now?!).  We’d been sitting on the promenade about to watch the sunset over the Mekong when Dan ran off to get a couple of beers.  He came back with a very large bump and blood pouring from his foot.  In his excitement to get back for our romantic sunset he’d fallen over the concrete steps and injured himself.  Luckily it looked worse than it was and the bump had soon reduced in size and we hobbled back to the hotel.

We spent 3 nights in Vientiane and it was a really lovely spot to relax and recharge our batteries before getting back on a bus to continue the journey North.  Tubing next!

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