Vientiane is extremely unusual for an Asian capital city. It’s sedate, laid-back and one can cross the road safely. There are nice restaurants and bakeries here, so we are taking the opportunity to eat lots of treats that we haven’t been able to get for a little while; like pastries and ice cream. Do you know it’s been over two weeks since I last had an ice cream in Phnom Penh? The deprivation! We are also stocking up on things that are hard to find outside of a big city, like suncream. Most of the brands here include “skin-whitening” chemicals to actually make your skin lighter. I’m not sure Mr Beet can actually go any whiter without turning into Casper the Friendly Ghost, so we’re avoiding those for now. Our other luxury is free internet in our hotel, hence the recent profusion of blog posts.
Apart from stuffing ourselves, we have seen the sights that Vientiane has to offer, which include an Arc de Triomphe tribute act and several temples.
My favourite attraction is outside the city; the Xieng Khuan Buddha Park. This is a recent creation, it was started in the 1950s by a guy who created a new Hindu-Buddhist fusion religion. He organised the production of hundreds of statues. He used untrained artists, and it shows. The statues are terrible, but collectively they are strangely fascinating.
More photos of Vientiane can be found on Mr Beet’s flickr page.