Thursday, March 4, 2010

LAOS TRAVEL PART 1: Hanna and Vientiane


On February 2nd, I arrived in Vientiane, the capital of Laos. I stepped off the plane and was greeted with wonderful, balmy air. "I remember you!" I whispered (to the air). "China tried to tear us apart, but hello 'warmth.' We meet again." It felt humid and great. Hanna and I planned on reuniting at the Saysouly Guest House, so I dropped my stuff off in the room, put on a skirt, and hung out on the balcony. A few hours later, Hanna arrived. "You look exactly the same!" she said. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, we hadn't seen each other in seven or eight years.

We spent a short time in Vientiane checking out the city. It's very quiet and peaceful, and while people often use those words to describe Laos, I wouldn't say it's necessarily a positive thing. At times, it's peaceful because the river is beautiful and the air is soft and the sun feels nice. At times, it's peaceful because it's a poor country and there's not a ton of commerce or entertainment or city life going on. So, it's complex, like anywhere. But for me, being somewhere not-China was enough. It was full of religious temples, monks, and old edifices. I really liked the hundreds of small alcoves in this temple, each containing two miniature Buddhas.

We also visited Laos's most famous stupa (a structure containing Buddhist relics or remains). It was very gold.
We walked around a bit more, checked out a local market, bought some jackfruit, and then: no time to waste! We hopped on a night bus headed north for Luang Prabang.


  1. What are those funny looking yellow things?! They look like ENORMOUS corn kernels.

  2. Your description of the warm weather sounds so good. I love all the litle alcoves! (Do you know why there are 2 Buddhas in each one?)