Vientiane, Laos

finally left Vang Vieng.
I have to say, I was not too happy on the bus ride. I was expecting a nice quick 3 and a half hour journey straight to the capital. Thats a very quick journey, compared with what I have got used to for this trip. Unfortunately, the bus was an hour late in leaving and was nearly filled.

The lateness I can deal with, but a group of Thai’s broke the unwritten rule of the ‘tourist’ bus. Usually its a bit of a mad rush trying to get a decent seat on a bus. Once you have your seat – the one next to yours is also ‘your seat’, especially if your a westener(the busses are built for smaller people), you need the space to be comfortable. So I am sitting on the bus, when the Thai’s just come in and take a bunch of spare seats including mine(my spare one). So the 5 other backpackers who are also near the front get our spare seats – stolen!

Okay, I am exagerating. I didnt get 2 seats to myself 😛 Not a big deal, considering the length of the journey. What really pissed me off was that this 25(ish)year old Thai guy who was sitting next to me promptly falls a sleep and is rolling all over the place – pushing me against the window…So I spent 5-1/2 hours(it left an hour late and took an hour longer on the road)s, getting absolutely no sleep and not remotely comfortable. I even tried jabbing the guy in the ribs with my pen, but he wasnt waking.

Anwyay, I got here at 2 ish and went wandering round looking for accomodation. I spent about an hour on foot before I stopped for a drink and got talking to a Welsh guy who pointed me in the right direction. I am now staying in a chinese hotel thing for 100,000 kip a night – ac/bathroom/double bed/fan. Its clean at least, and I am I dont know how long I will be here yet.

I had a look at the National Museum of Laos. It was pretty funny really, especially the stuff about the American Secret war – there were only a few English signs, but one photograph which showed some Americans training Hmong(I think) rebels, read
‘Imperialist Americans training the puppets’
I keep forgetting that this is a communist state. It seems to work here though, so I am not criticizing anyone(looks over shoulder).

Vientiane seems ok. Its not pretty – but I think I am going to stay here tomorrow, see if I can get an overnight bus or possibly even a flight down south – no idea where too though. I could fly to Cambodia, then go overland along the south coast of Thailand and all the way to Singapore arriving on the around the 8th to catch my flight to Cairns and Papua New Guinea.

Managed to finish my book ‘Paddle to the Arctic’, I dont think kayaking in the arctic circle is my thing. I picked up ‘The Climb’ by Anatoli Boukreev, this is a rebuttal of sorts to Jon Krauker’s ‘Into thin Air’ which I read a week or so ago – ‘The Climb’ is Anatoli’s account of what happened on the 1996 everest disaster.

Anyway, I am off to go find some food. I think I feel like Western food, no more noodles tonight.

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