Day 27: Vientiane
Claire: This morning we got a coach to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. It was only about a 3hour drive but we’ve realised that it doesn’t matter how long your journey is, the buses/coaches/mini vans will always stop at a local (overpriced) cafe for a 30min break. Even if it’s only 45mins into the journey and even if it’s only the driver than gets off for a refreshment.
On arriving to Vientiane we felt instantly calm by the familiar feels of city life. We loved our time in the beautiful Vang Vieng countryside, but we’d be happy to never return to the shabby town again. It’s nice to see proper restaurants and cafes and bars here… we do like a bit of choice.
Eager to explore we dump our bags and head out for some food. We find a super trendy coffee shop and vegan cafe that ticked all our boxes. I even had SALAD. And they accept credit cards. These guys know it’s 2017.
Vientiane is the largest city in Laos, but it kind of feels more like a large town and has a very laid back feel. There’s a French feel in the Old Quarter too, albeit more subtle (and not as pretty) than Luang Prabang, but noticeable with some buildings, jazz/cocktail bars and al fresco cafes. There’s some very lovely design shops too.
Located on the Mekong (we meet again!), with Thailand on the opposite bank we stroll to the riverfront as the night market is setting up. Seemingly more aimed at locals, there was no weaved textiles or elephant printed pants here (instead knock off Nike trainers and iPhone cases!). We look forward to exploring properly tomorrow…
Oh and we also bumped into our American friend John from the slow boat!! What are the chances?!
Gav's day 27 takeaway:
- Vientiane is kinda cool, it's got a some international influence and some nice vibes. But also feels like it's in a period of change. I think I'm just happy to be back in the city/town.
- This is our last stop in Laos, we've been told to spend all our Kip which is almost worthless outside of the border. So we're scraping by on what we have left (about 150,000 Kip). Which is about 13 quid – which goes surprisingly far out here.