Backpacking SouthEast Asia

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Laos & Thailand. Day 4

Start of trip || < || >

For details of the places I visited in Vientiane and Bangkok, with GPS Coordinates, see my books Vientiane: 20 Must See Attractions and Bangkok: 20 Must See Attractions.

The sun is one hour away from its highest point in the sky when i finally decide to open my eyes. For a backpacker place, this is a nice room, and even has air conditioning. Standards in Asia are going up slowly, but so to the prices. The dorm next door is empty, and i scan inside into the larger units.Yeah, that must be real fun.

I make my way downstairs and try to get my included breakfast. No they say, breakfast is only on the next morning of your stay. Nice, so  i order  a plate of spaghetti and mince. Very tasty.

 

Looking outside,  it seems that many of the backpackers are napping as their shoes are at the door and there’s almost no one downstairs.

Motorbike hire in town is not an issue, and if you want to ride around Laos there are a large number of models to choose from. However, prices are not cheap and in many case around double or more as you would find in Cambodia. $8 a day for a scooter in a town where a bicycle is almost overkill, is just too much for me, so i decide to walk. The roads are in many case wide with French styled buildings, mixed in with a few Laotian styled ones.

 

 

Here and there i do find tuk  tuks standing on the street corners, but they do not haggle you as in Cambodia. What is also different is that many of them have sign boards with tour packages to different attractions around town. Mostly according to me overpriced as many are only a few minutes walk away.

 

The roadside stalls are far nicer than many i have seen in Cambodia, cleaner as well, and the fish is kept fresh until needed to be cooked.

The yellow blur is a piece of cloth attached to a wire that is spun around by the standing van motor, this is to keep flies off the meat, cool.

 

Fresh fish.

I walk a bit around town and spot the local museum. The museum has a stunning wood carving right by the entrance that feature a number of figures. Inside the museum is artifacts from the Vietnam war, as well as the French-Laos war. There is a jar from that Jar plains, as well as mock up models of the fields. The museum also have some replicas of original Laos villages houses and clothes, as well as ancient bones found in Laos near the Mekong River.

 

A jar from the jar fields.

 

Copy of a picture of the jars. No one really knows what the jars were for. Some suggest that they were used for funeral purposes.

 

Traditional Laos clothing and items as well as a small village hut at the back.

 

Ancient remains found in Laos.

 

Buddhist manuals written on palm leaves.

 

Picture of a cluster mine that was dropped over Laos during the Vietnam War.

 

More unexploded ordinances found in the fields after the Vietnam war.

After the museum i walk a bit more around town, find a bicycle shop selling very nice bicycles, a small mall, and the morning market. I spot this restaurant that will have Volkswagen fans standing in line to eat here.

Getting just slightly hungry, i find a coffee shop with very nice sandwiches.

 

As i walk around, i see a number of adds for places to stay in. Most are at least $200 a month. Although they are very upmarket units, it is more than 3 times what i am paying in Cambodia. I realize that Vientiane may at one stage have been cheaper than Cambodia, but just like  Vietnam, the prices has sky rocketed. Looking around at the fancy restaurants and hotels, i could have been in NY, as many of the prices are almost on par with NY with what i payed for meals in smaller restaurants threre.

I decide to head back to the hostel and plan my route for the next morning. On my way back, i pass a fish shop roasting fish on a grill. All heavily salted.

 

Back at the hostel, i find out they have basically two options for the menu, spaghetti and mince, or hamburger. I go with spaghetti. Tomorrow, i will do some sight seeing and check out a few temples, as well as the vertical runway.