Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vientiane in a Day – Tuk tuk and buses

Morning came and it’s a day to explore the city of Vientiane.

It is very possible to explore the whole of Vientiane in a day, but that depends how big your wallet is.

snapshot from tuk-tuk


I rented a tuk-tuk for 90,000 kip (which is expensive in my opinion, that’s like USD10) to get a tour around town, back to the inn and to the bus stop.

me in tuk-tuk
tuk-tuk is the best invention in the world


1. Patuxai, or known as the Victory Monument.

patuxai from afar


look up


Looks pretty much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, except it’s full of the early Hinduism design

hindu roof design


interior roof design


patuxai pillar


Seven floors high, it offers an panoramic view of the city.

top view from patuxai

view from 7th floor of patuxai


Makes you wonder how their roads are so straight?

The history adds a slight mystery behind every wall, perfect place to cam-whore.

spiral staircase
Spiral staircase inside Patuxai


posing at window
Window scene

Graffitis are found inside the walls of Patuxai

graffitis

It intrigues me to think if those were ancient wordings or just love confessions of local Laotians.


2. Pha That Luang, the most prominent monument in Laos.

pha that luang overview


pha that luang from far


posing for pha that luang


flying woman at pha that luang
Flying pose


woe-is-me pose


You gotta admire the details though.

wall design


It's a huge gold monument that stood out without a doubt from miles away. There are stones and ruins around the inside of Pha That Luang that resemble Buddhist statues. Mostly headless.

head posing 1
Pose 1


head posing 2
Pose 2. Look, three arms


head posing 3
Pose 3. Tall macho me


head posing 4
Pose 4.


I bet you're wondering how did I squat so low for this photo (yes the statue is extremely small)

It's all about the angle.

short pose


Some stones there are just plainly disturbing.

penis looking stone
tell me this doesn't look like a giant penis


According to Lonely Planet, it’s a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Laos sovereignty. Since its construction in 1566, four wat were built around it, but two only remain.

My question is, is this the Wat That Luang Tai or the Wat That Luang Neua?

building next to pha that luang


They all look the same to me.

temple next to pha that luang


Outside of Pha That Luang, sparrows in cages are sold for luck (you're suppose to buy and free them)

sparrows in cage


This really saddens me. For all I know, sparrows can't be kept in cages, they'll die of confined space. I was tempted to buy all of them and set them free but this is just provoking business in this area.

man with sparrows


3. Talat Sao – morning market. I love this place, it sells from everything authentic to everything that’s famous for in Laos.

rice


me and bread


Like the Balut (duck fetus eggs),

selling duck eggs


I have read two cases on food poisoning after eating this.

laos duck eggs


So no! I will not try it. Over my dead body. Especially not after my food poisoning case.

You can find little frogs on a stick, or mini bats on a stick here too.

Or their famous snacks, baguette with condense milk (simple but genius recipe).

selling condense milk with bread


You can find the bus station right next to Talat Sao too, where you can get on a local bus at a fair rate to Vang Vieng or Luang Phrabang.

4. Buddha Park. Apparently this is a place with gazillion Buddhist statues, the one place I didn’t get the chance to visit because it’s 25km from the city and renting a tuk-tuk would cost me at least 100,000 kip.


*Three hours later*


Sitting on the public bus which is going to depart from Talat Sao to Vang Vieng in another half an hour (which I were to discover later half an hour means three hours). Public bus, the agony of bumpy ride, sacrificing air-conditioning and premium bus service for pain in the bottom and sweats in an enclosed tin is well worth saving another 35,000 kip for. (VIP bus rides for tourists are 60,000 kip per person, get your ride with the locals will set you back 25,000 kip)

Yep~ just another 5 hours away~ 5 painstakingly LONG hours...

Bought myself a 5000 kip sandwich from the Hmong Market next door for lunch, been eating this awesome shit for two days now.

5000 kip sandwich


They call it khào jįi pátêh (a split French baguette stuffed with Lao-style pâte and ham) which is going to last me till dinner. Well worth it in my point of view. Simply love Laotian sandwich, yum~

And I shall end my Vientiane Journey with a photo.

my nike moment at pha that luang


My Nike moment in Pha That Luang. Tell me that looks totally like a Nike Woman pose~! :D

43 comments:

  1. hi nicole,

    wow..ur travel stories really intrigue me...found ur blog while searching for Sabah places of interest(even tho im from sabah)...hmm.. really like ur travel blog.. have u ever consider to be a travel writer..hehe..

    hmm..Laos.. im going there around next year for business

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  2. That last pose is nice! But then I don't know how a Nike woman pose is like :P

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Really look like Nike woman pose =)

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  5. well yes u look good! u are travelling alone nicole? take care

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  6. haha.....89% look alike....

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  7. Hey, I like the window scene pic.

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  8. The sandwich looks yummy.. ^.^

    Great poses and pics too! :D who's the photographer?

    Urm i dono how a Nike Woman pose is like tho.. XD

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  9. Don't eat clams too, my friend had a bad case of food poisoning after eating clams in Cambodia. Oh, you're in Laos, not Cambodia. Maybe it's safe to eat clams in Laos.

    Btw, the first picture in the tuk tuk, you looks like aunty. *runs far far aways*

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  10. glad you're having fun Nicole!

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  11. Hello, I guess I really want you to know that I admire your courage to travel the world because... we REALLY only just live ths once. Please take care and you inspire me to make the best out of our lives and do what we want do, rationally.

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  12. i've traveled laos last year and it's really a wonderful place to visit..must visit the plain of jars and there's a cave where the american dropped 2 bombs killing thousands of ppl..a sad place but is good for us to remember no war!!hope u enjoy ur trip and take care in laos..:P

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  13. how you manage take pictures of yourself when you travel alone? Someone help or tripod?

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  14. I bet the person whom helping you taking picture (especially the last one) must think that you are either completely insane or completely creative! Anyway, I love your travel blog, really inspiring!!!

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  15. tsk. tsk...pic no. 14 showing stain. must b very hot n humid

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  16. no lah, she is not traveling alone lah. just because she said she is you all go and believe!

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  17. Ahem... Laotians may not happy if they see you posing behind the statues...

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  18. Ah, what a relief. I was beginning to think you might never again lower the tone with gigantic stone genitalia.

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  19. hi gal,
    just wonder how u take the photo by urself? tripod will cause too much time...

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  20. U sweat a lot... :p hahaha...

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  21. Come on Nicole ... it's time you were honest about this world trip. Do you have a travelling companion (your photos are a dead give-away) and are people giving you money for the costs of this trip? We would respect you more if you didn't give the impression that you are travelling alone and without much cash.

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  22. Nice photos Nicole and keep up the good writing.. luv it :)

    Btw, I cant help but to notice there is always 1-2 negative remarks.. probably from the same person :P someone who is envy of Nicole I guess :D Get a life :D hahaha

    Anyway, Nicole we luv your blog. We will always support you. It doesn't matter you are traveling alone or with someone.

    I hope you have a companion with you currently :) I traveled to US alone for 3 months last year alone and I can't find anyone to accompany me.. It would be fun to travel with someone :D

    Happy Travelling

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  23. Not the same Anonymous1/4/08 12:31 PM

    No, it's not the same person cos there were other comments before mine. Yes in the same vein there always the same sycophants who probably want to get into Nicole's pants but can't, who write glowing remarks so as to get a response from her. The issue here is being truthful in a blog. She has given the impression in her initial post about going round the world that she will be doing this alone as a sort of personal challenge. It is quite obvious that she is not travelling alone. And while she cries out poor, it is unlikely that she is travelling without financial support from people either. Why are some readers so gullible? Beautiful she is but don't let that cloud your senses.

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  24. did nic say that she is travelling alone .. i can't remember she mentioned that .. :)

    where did she mention that?

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  25. So you tried balut before. It is certainly not the type of food that I will ever put into my mouth!

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  26. who cares about whether this is true or not? as long as nic's blog gives us all good reads, i don't see any problem with trying to find out what's fact and what's fiction..

    come on, would you try to ask steven spielberg or george lucas to verify the truth about the things they do in their movies? i mean, get a life. read, enjoy, and move on..

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  27. Steven Spielberg1/4/08 6:44 PM

    It's you who should get a life because you believe in fairy tales.

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  28. George Lucas1/4/08 6:46 PM

    Hey! No one has ever asked me to verify the truth about things that I do in my movies because they know it's just a movie. I kmake illusions. And it's no illusion that I am also very rich and not penniless.

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  29. English teacher1/4/08 6:53 PM

    Where did she mention she is travelling alone? It's all about illusions and useage of language.
    Where's "we" in all these?
    "Go all out I shall";
    "I am travelling the world";
    "Tomorrow is the day I depart for Indo-China ...";
    "I will probably make it to ...";
    "I’m coming to see you ... ".

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  30. ROFL on the last 3 comments!
    You guys are spectacular!!

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  31. Dear Readers,

    I love reading all your comments more than what Nicole is blabbing about her trip. Most of the readers here just worship her. I must admit, I do enjoy looking at the pictures. Just the pictures. I don't read all of what she writes.
    I still think we should all worship GOD and not Nicole. Again, that is only my opinion. you readers have your own choice. But, I think it would be wise to worship 'GOD' the MIGHTY ONE than worshipping someone who makes reader felt pitiful because she only has coins and snack food to live for the day and next thing you know, she is travelling around the world.

    As for yapthomas, what is ROFL? I am an older person who only finished Form Five. I don't know a lot of acronym that readers used in this site. There is another one LOL? What is LOL?
    Also, Nicole like to use 'OMG' and 'OMFG' a lot on her post. What is 'OMG' and 'OMFG'. Please elaborate.

    Thank you very much.

    JR.

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  32. ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing,
    LOL = Laugh Out Loud,
    OMG = Oh My God/Gosh whichever u are happier with,
    OMFG = Oh My F-word God/Gosh,

    and fortunately, no I'm not a Nicole worshipper, neither am I a God worshipper, I'm Buddhist :D not so sure about others though..

    just happened to bump into her blog, and have been treating the posts here as good reads, just like how The Da Vinci Code and Rich Dad, Poor Dad has been good reads for me too..

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  33. have u visit the flooded jungles which logging is done under water?
    something special in Loas/ o.m.

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  34. Thanks to you RealGunners for spelling out the Acroynms.

    Now I know.

    JR.

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  35. Anonymous, if you are not happy with Nicole's blog, just don't read.

    There are a lot a lot of us that enjoy reading it, I visited her blog everyday.

    Nicole didn't mentioned she is traveling alone, so don't assume and start flaming in her comments, she is another nice person. Remember to keep the world as it is if u can't make it better or happier, don't spread anger and misery around :D

    ---------------------------------

    Nicole, nice blog...happy traveling. Always take care.. :)

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  36. I feel like giving the "anonymous" a tight slap, i bet she is a bitch.. look at the way she reply, ppl just ask her to get a life, she posted additional 3 replies as if this is her blog. Get your own blog, I bet big losers like you would visit your blog.. hahaha btw, no one is forcing you to read (I do assume you can read).

    Hey Nicole, don't get upset by those people comments. You are doing a great job. Love your writing.

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  37. Democracy and freedom of speech is so much fun isn't it? Makes the comment section very much fun to read through as well, hehehe~

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  38. the poses behind headless Buddha statues are illegal in Thailand~ hehe

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  39. do you get random people to take those photos for you? i mean, while doing those poses? x| haha, how?!

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  40. Carmen .... don't you get it???? She is not travelling alone even though she makes a pretence of it that sucks in some of those commenters above who can't see that the beef we have with her is nothing but the fact that she is not being truthful. She is financed on this trip and she is not travelling alone!

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  41. Hey "I feel like giving the "anonymous" a tight slap, i bet she is a bitch.." A bitch is a female dog and judging by your entry ... the bitch looks a lot like you ... And no, I am not female ... I am male. So your sense of smell is wrong ... you need to sniff more dog bums. Get a life.

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  42. I stumbled upon your blog looking for a menu in Laos. It's for an education project and I wanted to make sure the prices I quoted were accurate. (They were). I love your photographs of Laos: it's a beautiful country with beautiful people. I took many similar pictures and visited some of the same places.

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