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February 14 - Lost in Laos

USA | Sunday, 13 February 2011 | Views [361]

Made the border crossing from Thailand into Laos with no trouble and didn't have to wait long at all.  About an hour when it was all said and done.  I had two nights in Vientanne, the capital, and that was enough.  With 1.5 days of walking around I visited the key highlights: Victory Gate, modeled on the Arc de Triomphe, and it has a very nice park around it where I watched the sunset last night and did some people watching while they had their photos taken, Wat Sisaket where there are over 6,800 buddha statues contained in the courtyard walls and by chance I saw a newly married couple get their photos taken inside the courtyard - they were young and very regal looking in their native garb, another wat where two new monks were being marched around in a procession three times around the wat followed by very happy family and friends, the Black Stupa, and another famous fountain that also has a little park around it and restaurant and cafes.

Could I live there?  No, too much exhaust pollution and that seems to effect me with headaches and such.

This morning jumped on a tourist bus heading north and jumped off in Vang Viang.  Check the Internet for some photos of the mountains that make this area unique.  I splurged and staying two nights at the Elephant Crossing Hotel which is on the river.  My room w balcony has excellent views of the river and mountains.  Didn't know about this party island that is suppose to be close by so I will see how quiet it is at night.  The locals love to play music loudly and ALL NIGHT LONG - really.

I do miss Nong Khai.  It was my kind of place.  Cheaper than Laos too.  Also had my birth chart read and I am the wounded-healer.  The reading was insightful and I have work to do on myself in terms of trusting.  She said the place to start is trusting my gut.

I did learn about Thailand offering retirement visas for anyone over 50 years of age and with at least 25k in the bank.  Food for thought.

My stay in VV will either be 2 nights or 4 nights before I move on to Luang Prabang.  I am hoping they will celebrate a Buddhist holiday on Feb 18 and with LP being known for all its wats, temples, I hope there is something.  I stay there until Feb 24 when I fly to Hanoi.
Suggestion: Maps could use some improvements in Laos and the place to start would be not to use yellow text - very hard to read.

Time to get the feel of VV.  Too many tourists for me and how this place has conformed to the tourists.

Thanks for sending me emails - I do enjoy getting them and sorry if I don't reply but time is limited at the machines.

Happy Valentine's Day.  I will spend mine knitting.

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