This month, Fiance and I went to a new country and new city: Vientiane, Laos.
Why Laos? Why Vientiane? Well, pretty easy answer. We had gone to most of South East Asia and wanted to go somewhere new. So Laos seemed like something good. As well, Vientiane was a very short and cheap flight from Shanghai. So, we booked it while in a brewery in Singapore.
We had a VERY short trip in Vientiane. We flew out Friday night from Shanghai, with a very short overnight stay in Kunming (less than 7 hours). We returned on Sunday night.
We landed in Vientiane very early on Saturday morning and immediately took a taxi to Buddha Park. Buddha Park is about 40 mins from the Vientiane airport and main city. Along the drive, we rode along the Mekong River, seeing Thailand across the river. There is even a bridge, the Friendship Bridge that connects Laos with Thailand.
We arrived at the Buddha Park and was unready for the heat. The heat was real. Shanghai is a nice balmy 14C, while Vientiane was a nice hot 32C. Joyous
Buddha Park was absolutely beautiful. There were so many different sculptures. Buddha for daysss. I highly recommend a visit if you’re someone like me, who loves temples and Buddha statues. You’ll need a total of 1-1.5 hours here.
As well, there was this interesting…..thing? It reminded me of a giant cave…thing. To enter, you need to enter through a mouth (you have to crouch to get in)
As you walk inside, there is an inner cave that you can view via small openings. There are 3 levels within the…pot? thing? As well, you can climb out of the pot to view from the top
It was very awesome.
After, we took a taxi back to the city and checked into our hotel.
One of the things that I really do enjoy about traveling in Asia is the price. When looking at hotels, we noticed that king executive suite at the Crowne Plaza was only about $40USD. Well…..why not….. we only had 1 night in Vientiane.
After checking in and dropping our things off, we went off to find lunch. We found a great local place (no idea the name) and had amazing hot noodle soup and amazing fresh papaya salad
It was absolutely delicious, full of flavor. We walked around the very small city of Vientiane and enjoyed the views of the Mekong River (and Thailand).
The most surprising thing about Vientiane was the cleanliness and the planned preparedness. Everywhere I looked, I saw no dirtyness, no trash, and no trash bins. I was a bit surprised. As well, you could tell that everything in the city was in planned preparedness in supporting a, what i can expect, a boost in tourism. There was thoughtfulness in what was being built and what was being offered. It was exciting to be there early and seeing what this city is planning on offering. It’s exciting
After walking around, we enjoyed a beautiful dip in the hotel pool
After swimming and cooling down, we headed out for dinner. We went to this lovely restaurant on the Mekong River, where we got larb, the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is delicioussss
After, we walked around the city, where it really lit up. There were night markets, live bands, and lots of street food. All thoughtfully planned and extremely clean. I was absolutely in love with the city.
Before heading home, Fiance and I found this wonderful Mekong River-adjacent open sky food court.
As you can hear Fiance and I comment in the video, this will blow up.
We then headed back to the hotel, and stumbled across a bar on the way. It was…in the nicest way possible, a working girl bar, as well as a foreigner bar. There were pockets of people who obviously were there for vacation and folks who had been there for a long time (and ignoring everyone and everything around them).
Also…there was this in the bathroom…
Cooking some spices? Lol
And that was it. We went to bed, and flew out early the next morning to Shanghai.
Overall, I loved Laos. It is absolutely beautiful and glowing up. I’m excited to go back again and see a different part of the country.