16/03/2018 – 19/03/2018
Ventiane, Capital city of Laos.
We are not big fans of capitals and huge cities, but we decided to spend a few days there. Even though there is not much to do or see, it is still worth coming and stay max 2 days :p
How to reach Ventiane from Vang Vieng
You will find travel agencies all over Vang Vieng, with similar prices. Usually you can book a bus for 50.000-60.000 LAK/pp (5-6€)/pp.
The place we booked at is located along the main road, close to one of the paying bridge.
Where can I sleep?
Keep in mind the prices listed hereunder:
- Dormitory: 40.000 LAK/bed (4€)
- Mid-range Guesthouse/Hostel : 100.000-120.000 LAK/room (10-12€)
The cheapest place we found was called « Orange backpacker hostel » for 75.000 LAK/night (7,5€) for a private twin room with fan, shared bathroom. The place was not really great, with basic facilites and not that clean, but it did the job :p
Where can I eat?
There are literally tons of restaurants in town, with different price ranges to every budget. Backpackers can find cheap street food along Chao Anouvong Park (usually 15.000-25.000 LAK/pp). There are noodles, sandwiches, sushis, kebabs and many others.
Here are a few pictures of food in Ventiane:
What to see?
- Visit COPE museum. You will learn a lot about Laos war history, bombings and protesthetics (free entry, but you can make small donations if you want).
- Wat Inpeng
- Wat Haysok
- Ho Phra Keo
- Wat Sisaket
- Pha That Luang / Wat That Luang Tai
- Buddha park
- Chao Anouvong park (+ night market and street food at night)
- Chao Fa Ngum
- White Elephant
- Chao Anouvong statue
- Presidential palace
- Patuxay (Victory Gate)
- Sai Setthathirath King statue
USAF dropped around 2.000.000 tons of bombs all over Laos in 580.000 missions between 1964-1973. That means dropping a whole loadout every 8 minutes; 24 hours a day, for 9 years!
There were 270 millions of cluster bombs and nowadays, the government estimated that 10-30% of them still have not exploded and are a huge danger to children and farmers. Countless lifes are still lost because children innocently play with them or try to get scraps to sell.
(*) Cluster bombs, or « bombies », as people call them in Laos, are dropped in canisters, which open in the sky to drop enough of these little fuckers to cover a football field area…
The park is located 20km away from the city and you can find transportations to get there close to the Central Bus station. There plenty of tuk-tuks drivers who will ask you for 150.000 LAK on the main road, but you can get way cheaper by local bus for 6000 LAK/pp (0,6€) in a perpendicular road. Look where the tuk-tuks are and you will see the road and a road map as well. Bus run really often and the one you need to take is the one heading for the Buddha Park/Friendship bridge.
Buddha park is quite a small place, but really nice and beautiful with all those statues. There is a viewpoint on a staute at the entrance, but yu will have to enter the large statue, with steep steps and without safety barriers.
We have visited coultless statues and temples over the past few months and we are starting to feel like we have had enough :p
Next step: Sleeping bus for 15 hours to Pakse, in the South