Vientiane is the capital of Laos. We were told there wasn’t much to do and it was proven correct. We stayed at Sihome Backpackers Hostel, an awesome place in town that is very accommodating towards backpackers.
Our first night was interesting to say the least. We opted for Indian food (our fave) at a really strange restaurant. The food was amazing, but the experience was totally bizarre. The owner went around to everyone with a camera and recorded us saying how much we loved the food while we were eating. He immediately uploaded the videos to YouTube and Facebook and played them on a huge TV in front of everyone. It was loud and awkward, everyone was sort of turning their heads the other way. No one was as entertained as the ownder. .
Since we only stayed two nights, we decided to do an all day tour in an effort to see as much as possible. Tours like this can be worth it, but they are pricey, so be weary.
The tour brought us to the Buddha Garden, the Victory Monument, and the COPE Center.
The Buddha Garden was pretty spectacular. It was a huge yard filled with an assortment of Buddha statues of all shapes and sizes. We had lunch under the shade of some amazing trees.
Spense had a field day with picture taking so I must give him credit. The majority of Buddha Garden and monument photos are his masterpieces. Hey Spense.
The COPE Center was probably my favorite part of the day. It is a center dedicated to helping those affected by UXO’s and those who have lost limbs in other accidents. There is also a COPE Center in Luang Prabang that was closed when we went to check it out, so I was really glad to finally experience one. So much has been done to help people in need of new limbs or other medical attention, but it is obviously still a terrible problem.
Overall, Vientiane wasn’t my favorite place, but we definitely enjoyed ourselves. Laotian culture has gotten more and more amazing with every city we visit.
The Bolaven Plateau was our next stop and easily one of my favorite places. Stay tuned!