This was the little hole-in-the-wall joint that was across the street from the guesthouse that I slept in in Vientiane, Laos. I could get a Beerlao for under and dollar and a bowl of pho and a Beerlao combo for under $3 for both. That made for a really nice breakfast. I noticed a lot of the boys at the guesthouse seemed to enjoy Beeloa for breakfast. I was trying to fit in.
It’s the Golden Stupa, the #1 Tourist Attraction in Vientiane, Laos. I went there. I saw it. I’d tell someone to go there and see it. But, I don’t need to. The guide books will tell you how to get there. I rented a bicycle and saw all of Vientiane that I needed to see in a little more than a day and a half. This is just one of the sights. Personally, I think the town gets a bad rap. It’s not the kind of place you’d want to move to, but it’s worth going to see.
Everywhere I went in Laos they advertised all of the temples as "smoke free temple", meaning that a person could not smoke a cigarette in the temple. Perhaps even on the temple ground. You could, however, start a fire and burn your trash. That seems to be how they get rid of all their trash in Laos and the rest of Asia for that matter. They just burn it. There is a constant haze over all the cities that I visited in Laos and India. It was smoke from all the burning debris.
I have no idea who the person was who was supposed to be represented by the statue. I would have guessed John Wayne in one of his cowboy roles. I’m sure it wasn’t, but that’s the impression I got. I think that, at this point in my journey, I’m missing America so much I’m having delusions.
Admit it. You’d like to have a fence like this one, wouldn’t you? You’re just not willing to fork out the millions of Laotian kip that it would take to have the fence built. Where I live, I’m not sure it would pass code inspections. I have a feeling one of my neighbors would definitely have something to say about it at the next city council meeting. I’m not sure why. If you ask me, it’s a heck-of-a-fence.
I may catch some flack about this, but the guy looks a lot like Elvis to me. Maybe it’s the sideburns. Maybe it’s the cool outfit. Maybe it’s the hairstyle. Anyway, this guy’s a lot older than Elvis every thought of being.
I took the bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng through what is supposed to be the most scenic road in Laos. Actually, it’s supposed to be one of the most scenic roads in Asia. This is a drop-ff on my side of the bus. It’s a long way down. This is not the kind of road that you actually want to drive. You won’t get to see much because you had better be really, really focused on what is coming at you from the other side of the road and your side as well. There are no center lines in Laos and if there were I think Laotians would ignore them.
It’s the Arch in Vientiane, Laos. You know that Laos was at one time a French Protectorate, I’m sure. The French left their mark on the country and a lot of the rest of Indochina as well. This is Patuxai, Vientiane’s Victory Arch, built between 1957 and 1968. Interestingly, I’ve read where it is dedicated to those who fought the French in the struggle for the independence of Laos from France. I found that strange as the arch look a lot like one I’ve seen before in Paris. That’s Paris, as in France. Also, don’t let the hammer and sickle fool you. American dollars are accepted everywhere, just like the rest of the communist countries.
I believe this stupa dates to the 10th or 11th century. That’s old. I believe this stupa is called the Black Stupa. They say that, at one time, it was covered in gold. The gold was hauled off by people who invaded Vientiane, Laos, where the stupa is located. It just goes to show you that, if you have a Golden Stupa, don’t let the word get out.
In Laos, Luang Prabang is the city that gets played up for having great temples. So great in fact that the city is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. That’s a pretty impressive list. My own opinion is that I like the temples in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, better than I liked the temples in Luang Prabang. My advise? Go see them both and make up your own mind.