Thursday, 25 November 2010

Pakse - Vientiane - Xien Khuan - Vang Vieng

That was a quite stressy start into relaxed Laos^^
Monday (22.11.) I took a minibus from Ubon Ratchathani to the border village Chong Meng (100 baht, 1,5h). The visa at Laos border was without problems, just that I forgot to get USD in Bangkok and so they charged me 32euro (1300 baht) instead of 30dollar :(
A minibus (80 baht, 1h) brought me from Vang Tao to Pakse in Laos. I bought my ticket for the overnight sleeper bus to Vientiane. The 3h until the bus came, I used to do some sightseeing in Pakse.
There is not too much to see... I saw 3 markets and 1 of 2 bigger temples. Wat Luang was filled with young monks and the sunset behind made it quite a sight :)
The shopping mall looks funny^^ 2 floors of a cooled market :) After walking through the streets I had an indian dinner before taking a Laos foot massage... the right way to start my Laos trip and good relaxing before the bus journey.
The sleeping bus was horror^^ It took us 10h, 150.000kip from Pakse to Vientiane. The sleeping spots were about 1,7m long and 0.7m wide for 2 people. I shared mine with a tall french guy... I was able to sleep maybe 3 out of the 10h. My back and legs were aching afterwards :(
In Vientiane a tuktuk brought us from southern bus terminal to the centre. I enjoyed sunrise from the Mekong-promenade and new built Chao Anouvong park before having a good breakfast at Nam Phu Park.
From the local busstation I took bus number 14 to visit Xien Khuan (5.000kip 1.5h). Xien Khuan houses the Buddha Park which is filled with a huge amount of bizzare sculptures from Buddha, Shiva, Vishnu, Arjuna, and many more Hindu+Buddhist gods.
It is great to simply look for your most favourite sculpture or go through hell, earth and heaven to reach the top of the pumpkin sculpture and enjoy a view over the park.
The same bus brought me back to Vientiane where I booked a bus to Vang Vieng (30.000kip 4h). On the bus to Vang Vieng I met 3 polish who just started their holiday 4 days ago. I explained them that Vang Vieng is famous for it's nature, adventure activities, parties and drugs. A happy pizza knocked me off at the evening :P
After a long sleep and good breakfast (I enjoyed several baguettes in Laos already^^ finally bread again :P) I jumped on a minibus to Luang Prabang (100.000kip, 6h).

Wat Luang, Pakse

Sunrise from the Mekong at Chao Anouvong Park

Pumpkin sculpture in Xien Khuan Buddha Park


You just have to pick your favourite sculpture^^

I liked that one the most :P

stunning park

Good view after going through hell, earth and heaven of the pumpkin.

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