Vientiane Chillin

Laos folk are of the more relaxed nature which has been a nice
changeover from the chaotic sensory overload we experienced in Vietnam
and at times, Cambodia. Life just seems to ease on by and the city of
Vientiane was certainly a fair example of a place where we felt as
chilled as we have throughout our first 2 months, well, minus the 90
degree heat sending sunscreen and hair gel streaming into my eyes and
mouth. Actually though,  the rains that passed through on Sunday gave
us an opportunity to relax, catch up on sleep and of course, blogs and
pic uploading.  The fast and furious marathon on AXN made it seem
quite natural to spend the day watching movies in the air-con and
charge up for the next day.

Monday we boarded our motortbike rental and with no particular place
in mind, just went. We did see a few of the local sights like the  Pha
That Luang which is known as the most important monument in Laos as it
symbolizes the country’s sovereignty and devout Buddhist following.
We also cruised through the Patuxai which is reminiscent of the Arc De
Triumph in its design and was built with the help of the the US in
1969 to commemorate those who dies in pre-revolutionary wars in Laos.
Our jaunt down a scenic highway came to a bouncy hault as we blew a
rear tire but with the help of some local engineering we were up and
running in no time with only a 4 dollar fee for the handywork. The
pitstop was actually nice as we had a few laughs with some younger
ladies that found Nicole and I most intriguing. My guess is that they
were amazed that a woman could train a monkey to drive a motorbike.

We made our way along a few stretches of rode and shared a few kind
hellos with the towns people before heading back to our hotel to rest
up and head out to dinner.

A poplular sight in Laos is the “Beer Garden” which is basically a
courtyard addition to a restaurant or bar that includes grass, some
trees and foliage and tables for patrons to eat and put down a few
“Beer Lao”. We found a beer garden that peeked our interest as it
included Korean cuisine and after 2 months without Kimchi, I was
Jones’in for some stinky cabbage and red pepper paste goodness. Nicole
got her favorite Kimchi Zigae soup and I ordered the Bulgogi dish
which made us both a bit nostalgic but a very good meal after a long
day of relaxed riding.

Tuesday we hit the US embassy and slapped some pages into Nicole’s
well traveled passport ( a hefty $82 for this service as of July, 13,
2010 btw). Then off for some breakfast before we boarded our bus to
Vang Vieng for our third stop in this lovely country. Till next time,
kwahp j’ai lielie (thank you) for readin.

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