Laos holiday… October 2007.
Vientiane was our first stop on our trip to Laos. We decided to doVientiane first to see the Pha That Luang, Patuxay and the rest of the city. The Buddha park was not on our list but got to see as well.
First day was really fun. We decided to rent a motorbike as it was more fun than riding a tuktuk. Motorbike rental was very cheap that time, they required us to leave a passport as some sort of collateral.
It was my second time on a motorbike thats why I wasn’t that scared anymore. I was the one in charge of the map but I didnt find map reading interesting, I like it now though 🙂 We made a few stops and took some photos along the way. We were heading to the Pha That Luang but we got lost a few times. Guess it was slightly my fault, as I’ve said I didnt like map reading that time. It was really difficult to get lost there as the locals dont speak and understand english that much. So the best way is to follow the directions on the guide books and be a good map reader. My boyfriend is good at it but it really is difficult to drive and read map at the same time.
We stopped by to figure out where we’re going and to take a few photos as well. I can’t remember anymore what this thing is called. Might as well include in my album.
It was nearly sunset whenwe got to the Pha That Luang. It is a gold-covered Buddhist stupa and one of the highlights of Vientiane. They often say that your visit to Laos won’t be complete without seeing this stupa. We decided to take several photos outside the temple first before going in. We didnt have a tripod so we just relied on the timer. We were really struggling to capture a good angle then suddenly a local man approached us and offered to take our photos and have them printed for the price of usd5 for 2 printouts. We grabbed the offer.. we wanted to capture the stunning stupa at the background. What I didnt seem to understand was the man didnt want to take more than 2 shots, when in fact he was using a digital camera. Maybe he was saving the power or something, i dont know. By the way he had his printer lying under the palm tree, and mind you it was not a photo printer, it was just a typical inkjet printer that was running low on ink. To cut the story short, we were disappointed when we saw the printed photos, very poor quality. But I still have it now 🙂
We were so busy taking photos and when we decided to go inside, the gate was already closed. We tried to talk to the guard to let us in even for a few minutes but he was really firmed and said “no no no… tomorrow ” 🙂 we even tried twice but there was no luck at all. So we left after taking few more photographs and decided to come back the following day. We went to see the rest of the area after leaving the Pha That Luang and took some more photographs before heading to the riverside cafes (along Mekong river) for coffee. We found this nice little roadside cafe and decided to have coffee and pastries, unfortunately I forgot to take some photos as I was feeling really tired already.
We went to see Patuxay on our way back to Pha That Luang the following day. Got inside and took a few photos then went straight to Pha That Luang.
Finally we were allowed to go inside. Was surprised to see so many tourists walking. There was also a mini gallery and we decided to walk around and check out some paintings done by a local artist. An old lady who introduced herself as the artist’s wife, tried to make a small talk with us. Just when we were about to leave, a postcard lying on the table caught my attention. It was an image of such a huge reclining buddha. I got really curious and asked the lady where it was taken and how to get to the place. She was really kind and gave us directions how to get there… so, we’re off to the Buddha park.