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Vang Vieng, Laos

Very Disappointing Place

rain 29 °C
View 12 Month Sabatical on Geete01's travel map.

I had high hopes for this little town in the mountains, based on what I had heard and read. Unfortunately this was worse than Vientiane, I am becoming less surprised that business in these countries look like they are struggling. They probably are based on how shit the service is and how much they try and rip off the tourists.
Tonight was a perfect example, went to a restaurant in the middle of the town, looked promising based on the fact it was full and many others were not. Ordered noodle soup and a drink, still waiting 45 minutes later, didn`t even have the drink yet. Now I understand that the restaurant was busy but you can`t even manage to bring a drink to the table in 45 minutes, ok bye. Left the restaurant and they never said a word.
Guess I am going to be very skinny after 12 months, hahahaha.
The place I am staying is Vang Vieng Garden Bungalows, essentially it is a pretty nice place, unfortunately it is the second night here and both days now music thumping louder than a concert vibrates the windows from 3 - 10pm non stop. The base is so loud the curtains move but at least that stops you from hearing the rats in the ceiling. Sounds like I am being harsh on Laos, however I am trying to give honest observations and experiences so people know what to expect if they travel here.

Garden Bungalows where I am staying and surrounding mountain


This was a market that I found behind where I was staying. These markets are everywhere in Laos.



Holy shit it rained like you would not believe today. After it stopped I got a picture of probably the biggest snail I have ever seen.



Had so much fun today. I was sick of being stuck inside because of the rain so went out anyway. Hired an off road buggy for 2 hours, cost $180,000 Kip or $32 nzd. It included the fuel so I thought that wasn`t too bad. It pissed down so I got completely drenched, hahahaha but it was still 30 degrees.


And some pictures of the mountains in between the rain.


The scenery here is outstanding so it is such a shame that the food is terrible and the service is abysmal. Ok, keep some hope alive that Luang Prabang will be better.

Posted by Geete01 03:23 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

Vientiane, Laos

Sleepy Frustrating City

rain 29 °C
View 12 Month Sabatical on Geete01's travel map.

Ok, so today I lost my shit with how frustrating it is to get anything done in this country. I understand things are not the same as NZ but come on. I think today was a build up of frustration over the last couple of months and it is very evident that a lot of SE Asia is not interested in catering to the tourists, be under no illusions, they are only interested in your money, Period.
Laos is probably the most obvious in this regard as everything they do is to ass rape the tourist in the wallet. Now don`t get me wrong, I am not saying Laos is expensive, however there is a clear distinction between what the tourists pay and what the locals pay, for instance I went to a few local museums and temples yesterday and what the tourists pay is more than 3 times what the locals pay. Also, it is widely publicised that they understand English in Laos but this does not appear to be the case. Also the Tuk Tuk drivers in Laos are the biggest crooks in SE Asia. Asked one this morning to take me to an ANZ ATM and he asked for the equivalent of $9 NZD, I told him I would walk and lucky I did as I found one about 1km away. After telling him I would walk the price suddenly halved and this is not the first time it has happened, they asked for $45 NZD for another ride I queried and when I refused it suddenly went down to $20 NZD.
Don`t even get me started on the food, I was under the impression that food in SE Asia was good. Hell no it isn`t, well haven`t experienced good food yet, as of yesterday I am now vegetarian for the rest of my trip. This is for the safety of my stomach as clearly nobody here can cook meat. Not sure how you can balls up deep fried chicken wings but apparently you can. Had them last night with blood still oozing, Mmmmmm yum.

Quiet day today but went for a walk around the city after arriving last night. Stupidly hot today, I think the weather report says 34 degress and feels like 42 because of the humidity.
In the centre of the city is a sacred stupa that they call "That Dam" they believe it is inhabited by a Naga (half serpent half man). Never saw him though and never showed up in any of the photos, Hahaha.


Like a lot of SE Asia, there is a large French influence. In Laos there is many old buildings and houses that have been left to rot, Hopefully one day somebody will restore these, although it would cost huge amounts of money. I snapped these pictures of an old French house opposite That Dam



Down by the Mekong river they have a market every night, it seems to be targeted at the tourists but it was interesting. You can get all kinds of food here as well but choose wisely as the quality varies greatly.


Me having a beer at a rooftop bar overlooking the Mekong River.


Today started with a visit to Ho Pha Keo Museum which is more of a temple. This place interested me as it was in very good condition compared to many of the temples I have seen in the last few months due to having been rebuilt several times. It was originally built in 1565 to house the emerald buddha. You will also see how large it is as some of the photos have people in them so you can get an idea of the scale of this place.


These carvings were on the grounds and have been done in old tree trunks. Thought these were a bit different but not sure if the photos really do them justice.




Second stop for the day was a monument they call Patuxai which means Victory Gate and was dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. It is 7 stories high and from the top you have an amazing view of the city.


Final stop of the day was "That Luang" which is a gold covered Buddhist stupa that is regarded as the most important national monument in Laos.


Starducks Coffee?????


Me on the bus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng, it is a 5 hour trip so going a bit stir crazy.


Posted by Geete01 21:51 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

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