The capitol of Laos, Vientiane, was a big disappointment; it had none of the charm of Phnom Penh and was really expensive. It’s a small capital and does not really have much to see or do. What there is to do you can walk to which is a bonus as I had no intention of paying the over-inflated prices charged by the Tuk Tuk drivers. I wouldn’t mind it if that was it but they are humourless and on occasion rude. I’m sure there are exceptions but I wasn’t giving them a chance to find out. Most of them also offer you first of all Hash, if that does not get a reaction then the drug becomes increasingly stronger ending in Opium and I’m sure if you hang around enough it would become crack cocaine.
Having said all that I did enjoy our day out to Buddha Park, a few kilometres out of the city. It’s the brainchild of an eccentric and the park is full of statues combining Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. It was a real mix and I found it fascinating. You can also climb on, in and around a lot of the statues and I loved that, it always brings out the big kid in me. We decided to take the local bus out there and it really showed the contrast for me of what Lao people are really like. We were unsure as to which bus to take and it showed, so you had the scam artists who were trying to ‘help’ by offering to take you in a mini van for an extortionate price. Then you had the local lady who was happy to point you in the right direction with a smile.