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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vientiane, Round Two

It's a lovely little city, that's for sure, but with a heart that feels no bigger than a square mile, it's pretty easy to see all there is to see here, and in a short period of time. It's a quiet city, by any measure. I climbed to one of the city's highest views, atop the four-arched Patuxai, and was amazed at how tiny, compact, and, well, green this city really is. But there's enough sights around Vientiane to show the pride and exuberance of the Loas people even after years of war and revolution.

So, yesterday on foot, and today riding a bike, and now ... well, I kind of feel like I'm done. So tomorrow I'll head north to Vang Vieng, a place renowned for it's natural beauty, be it rivers, caves, rock climbing, or just rolling green hills that look like they belong on an ancient scroll somewhere. We'll see how it holds up; here's hoping it's more Ko Surin and less Khao San Road. And if you don't understand that sentence, you haven't been paying attention to this blog.

That's what I mean, baby: Laos pride.

The pace of life here can generously be called "relaxed."

Ah, Beer Lao. The first genuinely good Asian beer.

Love this photo.

Love that Laos style ... architecture clearly influenced by the Khmers (Cambodians) and Thais (take a guess), but it has it's own distinct features: gently sloping roofs, simple clay scales, intricate but not overly-ornate.

Patuxai, Laos' own Arc de Triomphe.

Climbing to the top ...

View from (near) the top.

The symbol of Laos, Pha That Luang.

More here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More Ko Surin, and less Khao San Road? I hope too.