Friday, 19 August 2011

Serene Vientiane

As far as capital cities go, particularly Asian ones, Vientiane must be the quietest, most peaceful one.  We had an excellent, relaxing time here strolling around town and seeing some sights.  And to be honest, we really didn't do very much during our 3 days in Vientiane because there really didn't seem like there was much to do!  Which was just fine with us :)

Sunset over the Mekong river.  There were pathways along the river that became crazy busy in the evening, with Laotians out jogging, walking their dogs, going on a bike ride, playing pick-up soccer.... 

A statue of a very important, respected man.  Don't ask me who as all the signs were in Lao, and our guide book sucks.

A really bad picture of an outdoors aerobics class.  Every night from 6-7pm there were multiple free aerobics classes down by the river.  They were very popular!  

We took a trip out to Buddha Park, a park full of statues of, you guessed it, Buddha.  It was created by this wealthy, religious man and he hired lots of local artists to make the sculptures.  There were also statues of many other religious figures including many of Indian gods.  I honestly have no idea what most of these sculptures represented (again, terrible guide book) but it was still a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.

Strange, strange sculpture.  We went inside and climbed all the way to the top to get a good view of the park.

View of the park from the top.  There is a large reclining Buddha statue on the left of the picture.

There were lots of statues inside the sculpture as well.  The bottom floor had many disturbing scenes, and I can only assume it represented some form of hell.  It was very creepy, especially with all the cobwebs, the dank musty odour, and the lack of natural light.  

Another sculpture in the park.

Wait a second, I thought I was in Laos, not France.... Yes, Laos has its own version of the Arc de Triomphe.  The concrete for this was donated by the US government to be used in building an airplane runway.  Instead this was built.  Oh, and it's just slightly larger than the Parisian version, just to annoy the French.  A plaque on the side of this structure actually calls it a "concrete monster."

Well, that's about all I've got for Vientiane!  It was a pretty mellow few days.  We did also check out the National Museum, and it had some very interesting photos from the revolutionary days, many with very colourful captions about "evil Americans and their puppets."  I also made sure to check out the quality of the goods at the many French bakeries in town.  All in all, a relaxing time in Vientiane, and time to prepare ourselves for the chaos of Vietnam!

1 comment:

  1. A little late now that you have moved on, but i just read this:

    . The total amount of electricity Google uses from its operations is almost 2,260 megawatt-hours, which is 0.01 percent of the world's electricity. That's about one quarter the yearly output of a nuclear power plant, according to The New York Times, and slightly more energy consumption than the country of Laos, according to The Guardian.

    WowA little late now that you have moved on, but i just read this:

    . The total amount of electricity Google uses from its operations is almost 2,260 megawatt-hours, which is 0.01 percent of the world's electricity. That's about one quarter the yearly output of a nuclear power plant, according to The New York Times, and slightly more energy consumption than the country of Laos, according to The Guardian.

    Wow

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