Day 05 - Monday, Oct 27, 2003
- Lao Paris Hotel -
|Up late, checked out, tuk-tuk to our second hotel, Lao Paris Hotel (pronounced Lao Paree), which we'd found on Sunday by wandering near the central square. $15/room/night and they sold us tickets for the van to Vang Vieng.
More Lao Paris Hotel Pictures
- Buddha Park -
|Checked in, huge lunch at Khop Chai Deu, lovely spring rolls, weird rice cakes (chewy). Yum. Ate a lot. Then we walked to the taxi stand by the morning market, but still ended up getting a tuk-tuk instead of a car for the trip to Buddha Park (longish drive, about 25 km out of town, but well worth it!) Same tuk-tuk back - he waited (for $10 plus $1 tip).
|Xieng Kuan or Buddha Park (Xieng Kuan means "Spirit City") is filled with fanciful Buddhist and Hindu sculptures. It is right beside the Mekong and has a cafe nearby, where we got sodas and Dan tried some horrible energy drink. The park was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, some kind of messianic figure or religious leader who combined Buddhist and Hindu iconography. He fled Laos for Thailand after the 1975 revolution, and apparently there is another Buddha Park somewhere on the Thai side of the river. The giant concrete pumpkin has stairs, chambers, and many cobwebs inside; the three levels inside representing hell, earth and heaven. We were lucky; there was almost no-one else around, and we had fun climbing on and posing with various sculptures.
More Buddha Park Pictures
- Patuxi Arch -
|When we got back to town, we headed up the arch, caught panoramic views and glimpses of golden That Luang spire. (Claire convinced us to get up early and go see it in the morning, before the bus to Vang Vieng at 10.)
More Patuxi Arch Pictures
- By the Mekong -
|Then we walked back, through rush hour traffic and oodles of school kids in uniforms, smiling at strange us; had beers by the river at sundown (sunspots visible to the naked eye) then really good veggie Indian food at Nazim on the main riverside road, and one round at Khop Chai Deu. Dodo and Ruth, tired, headed back to the hotel; Dan and Claire lingered over one last beer until the bar closed at 11:30.