Days 136/137, Saturday/Sunday 19/20 May 2012, Vientiane
I had a wee sleep in this morning, by my standards anyway and wasn’t up till 8.00. it is pouring down outside which is just perfect as it means I can have a good session of lying down, reading and catching up on emails etc. I was planning on spending the whole day doing nothing except organising the remaining two weeks in SE Asia, but the internet died soon after breakfast – and didn’t get going until late afternoon, bugger.
The rain stopped around mid-day and I ventured out for a stroll under what started out to be cloudy skies, it was quite humid and once the clouds cleared after a couple of hours got quite hot as well. Foolishly I brought neither sunglasses nor sun screen and regretted both of them ,especially the glasses, as the sun got brighter and brighter.
Vientiane has quite an historical relationship with France, the street names, use Rue and Avenue and the main thoroughfares are wide open and shady.
Vientiane even has its own Arc De Triumphe replica – Patuxai and was built in 1969.
From there I walked up to Pha That Luangis, a large golden stuppa and the most important monument in Laos.
The site was started in the 1500’s and there were four wat surrounding it, of which only two remain.
I loved these small family plots inside one of the wats.
There must be two lonely people.
One of the great things in Vientiane, and soe rare in SE Asisa, so many places – including one of the parks are smoke free.
I walked back to the GH and after a wee cool down then went to a local hair dresser for a light trim – I was not filed with confidence, so didn’t get a full haircut or let her loose on my face with a razor. So I went back to the GH and attacked my facial hair with a razor myself. It took 45 minutes !
It was getting close to sundown so I went for a walk along the bank of Mekong, long with hundreds of the local people and not a small number of tourists. I found a perfect spot to capture some of the people passing by on their bicycles. And again, unusual for SE Asia – motorbikes were banned along this strip – so nice !
I had dinner on my own in a local cafe and then went back to my room and watched another episode of Sherlock – it is great. It was a very noisy night in town tonight, mainly tourists drunkenly yelling on the street. I didn’t get a huge amount of sleep.
Sunday morning was as slow a start as yesterday. Today the internet was going and I resolved to stay in my room and complete my plan for the next two weeks. With guide book, laptop and smart phone often all being used at once, I spent almost eight frustrating hours trying to come up with a workable plan. At every turn I was frustrated with time tables that did not get me to where I wanted to be when I wanted to be there, so decided to give up on road/rail transport for some legs and fly -which meant then trying to find combinations of airports that worked…. grrrrrrr !
But I finally got there. It was not the plan I started with, I am not going to any more historical sites, just two weeks of beeches and diving, with two overnight train rides to get to my first location – Koh Tao on Thailand’s east coast. Now the planning is done I believe I have made the right choice. Two weeks of mainly relaxation, with some diving – and some healthy living thrown in, should get me ready for my trip to England.
I ran into David and Debbie in the GH reception and they invited me along with them to go bowling, what an awesome idea. And a whole load of fun !!
Bowling shoes – the person who invented them must have had a sense of humour. I mean what self respecting person wears green and gold ?
You have to love that poise, so graceful 🙂
And I did kick some ass – it was my lucky night – two strikes !
This was followed with a very nice Indian meal at a local restaurant and, for me, one more episode of Sherlock in bed.
It was with a sense of relief I closed my eyes – the remainder of my time in SE Asia is all planned and accommodation in most places is booked. All I need to do is turn up.
I have updated “the plan” page with the new plan.