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

Sacrifice^^

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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