We woke up and ate breakfast at our hostel with the two Canadian guys from our tour. We took the hour flight to Vientiane. You could do this by bus and it is so much cheaper, but this is known as the worst bus ride in Southeast Asia to take. It is nicknamed the death bus because the buses crash often enough to make it a problem and if your bus doesn’t crash in the steep mountains, you still have to sit on a bus for 30 hours with a few stops and make the whole journey on curvy mountain roads that aren’t really paved. It seems brutal and everyone dreaded it. We decided to dish out to avoid death and an uncomfortable two days. Once in Vientiane, we parted from our friends and took a taxi to our hostel. It was right in the city center but that doesn’t mean much because there wasn’t much to do in this capital city. There is one foundation and one big golden temple. We walked around and immediately noticed how much more well off Laos is than we thought. There were a lot of really nice cars and houses. Food and drinks were priced as if it was in an American city and the downtown was pretty built up. We ate lunch and then took a tuk tuk to the one big golden temple. It was pretty cool and impressive. We were the only ones there, which is kind of sad because this is the one icon these people have in their country and still no one cares to see it. We also passed this big cement structure in the middle of a round about that was made out of cement that the USA donated to Laos for them to build a runway at their airport, but instead they just decided to build a structure with the cement. We rested at our hostel for a couple of hours and booked a bus for the following morning to Vang Vieng. We then walked around a night market by the Mekong River. It was my favorite night market yet because it was a nice walk with space to breathe and no shop owners bothered you to buy their stuff. It was relaxing and you could actually look at things without someone yelling in your face. We happened to see the two Canadian guys again so we talked to them again for a while. Afterwards, Matt and I ate a late dinner at the same place we ate lunch because it was the only reasonably priced place out of the ten options of restaurants in the city. We then went back to our room, killed all of the mosquitos in our room and then went to bed.
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- Vang Vieng, Laos