Day 2 – Sabaidee Laos

Sala Kae Koo is a park with gigantic concrete structures with Buddhist and Hindu influences. There is a similar park on the Laos side of the border, but the sculptor and his followers fled into Thailand after Laos’ political unrest during that time and created this second park. 

Nong Khai is a simple little border town. Head towards the shops along the riverfront and the indoor market where you have hardware stores, general wares shops.

Vientiane, even though it is the capital of Laos, retains its charm. French architectural buildings and signs line the streets. The highlight is the Patuxay which is a miniature Arc de Trompe. This unfinished monument is found in the middle of a park, where the locals relax and have picnics.The park itself is in the middle of a roundabout. The entire city is clean, and you even have joggers in the evening.

Vientiane – 15Jun’08
Woke up late by half hour. Still managed to take the 11 baht per pax 56 km train ride to Nong Khai, the border town between Laos and Thailand. Tuk tuk driver didn’t understand where we wanted to go. Here in Udon Thani, fewer tourists, so signs are all in Thai, and locals don’t speak english too well. Neways, after a hand gesture mimicking a constipated train and a “chugga-chugga-chugga” he got us to the railway. Reached Nong Kai at 9+. While everyone else made a beeline for the Friendship bridge, we went to this sculpture attraction on the outskirts of Nong Khai. Sala Kaew Koo, tall stone statues (25m high!) of Hindu and Buddhist influence. Went back to town, dropped at the Tha Sadet day market, which is a mish mash stretch of stalls that the locals frequent right by the Mekong. Had lunch before crossing into Laos via the Friendship bridge, and off to Vientiane.

Vientiane has more tourists, besides the angmoh backpacker types, also had groups of asian tourists who’s origin countries i cant place. Could be Thai, dind’t sound Chinese, dunno where theyre from. After dunking our stuff at this 50 000 kip joint (basic amenities, staying here tonight, SHOULD have picked somewhere nicer), went down to the Patuxay Arch, which is a bit like the Arc de Triumph in France. This Vientiane version is unfinished, and the immediate area around it made into a park. But for 3000 kip, we climbed to the top and got an birds eye view of the city. Oh yeah, before Patuxay, visited the local day market, walked around, bought some “hey ive been to lao!” type t-shirts. Dinner was at this indian food place, Nazim or something. Pretty ok, but ex. But then again, Vientiane is the capital and a tourist hub, compared to the quiet Udon Thani.


These posts sound kinda sucky, without the pics and vids to back them up. Tomorrow will be off to Vang Vieng, where the supposed highlight is tubing down the Mekong. cheers.

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