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.