Finding Vientiane

I’m not sure why but Vientiane always held a special fascination for me. Maybe it’s because it’s a capital I knew very little about in a country of which I knew even less. Perhaps I was intrigued by the mix of French and Lao cultures. Anyway, even though all backpackers will tell you “one or two days is enough” I really enjoyed it. Plus I always think capital cities hold something special.

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The golden Pha That Luang, the national symbol that appears on everything and everywhere
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As always monks are a ubiquitous sight in Laos
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I don’t know why I include this, I just thought it was bizarre. First I reckoned all the words would be different languages but nope. Also if you didn’t know what toilet meant you would assume this is a sign for something entirely different but what exactly I’m not sure
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Haw Pha Kaeo. This was a nice temple/museum. Seemed very Laotian to me
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This mix of gold and red has struck me as distinctly Lao (I could be wrong of course). Here is the Buddha rain pose again

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The Patuxay Monument is dedicated to the struggle for independence. It was apparently built with concrete donation by the Americans for use in building an airport, hence its nickname as the ‘Vertical Runway’.
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The City Pillar
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Sisaket Temple. An interesting change. As most temples in Laos I’d seen so far had been well maintained it was hard to tell their ages; could be brand new or hundreds of years old. This is the only one that felt ancient (sadly due to disrepair) even though it only dates from the 19th century
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The temple itself was surrounded by thousands of Buddhas
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On the bus out of the city we stopped so this guy could buy a cockerel. The seller kindly made him a little blue plastic bag suit/carry case. He was so happy (the guy that is, not sure about the bird)
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The bag didn’t last long however and soon they were both eyeing me suspiciously
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Anyway in case you forget that Laos is still a one-party Communist country you’ll get an occasional reminder…but more on that next time

Next up: Jars, Bombies and Spoons

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