Looking down at the Buddha Garden.

We could have easily spent more time in Luang Prabang, but decided it was best to move on to see more.  Next on our list was Vientiane, Laos’ capital city.  We decided not to go into the far southeast as the logistics of it didn’t fit our schedule.  We would have loved to see the thousand islands in the river, and spent some time in the little island towns, but it was just not in the cards.  I think this is the first time during the trip that our short time remaining had started really becoming a force to be acknowledged.

We made plane reservations with Lao Airlines.  My stomach sank a little when I saw the plane was a little two prop plane.  The seats of the plane were covered in this absolutely hideous floral color patterns of neon yellow, orange and dark blue.  Im sure the colors really ‘popped’ under black light, but it was just plain ugly to look at.  One nice thing about the flight (other than we survived it) was that I actually had leg room.  This is very uncommon in our travels so far.

Laos Air.

I didn’t like Vientiane.  Im not sure why, but I just had a bad feeling about it.  I was still sick and coughing deeply all the time(lucky Jane), so maybe that had something to do with it.  Reading up on the town, we didn’t see all that much to do there.  One thing of interest was this Buddha garden 30km outside of town.  It consisted of a ton of Buddha and Hindu statues, I guess the monk was trying to marry the two religions.  He was forced across the Thai Border at some time, and has lived there since, building a new one in his new homeland.






We wandered the street for a while, and finally found a tuk tuk driver to drive us to the garden.  What we didn’t know is that this was a special tuk tuk.  It had a leak in the engine that sprayed boiling water out of it all over the driver’s foot pedals at ‘highway speeds’.  Of course, our highway speed was not the same speed as every other person on the road, we had perhaps found the slowest tuk tuk of them all.  Oh, and we nearly ran out of gas as well.  This is quite a feat, since they sell gas on the side of the road in whatever bottle they can find.  I personally like the Johnny Walker black label gas.  I honestly wasn’t sure if we would make it or not.  When we stopped, I tried to ask the driver about the copious amount of liquid spurting out of the vehicle.  I think he thought that I was asking if the water was from him urinating while driving.  Oh the joys of the language barrier.  I was just hoping it wasn’t gas, as we had nearly run out of it.  On the way back I figured out that he had a large resevoir of water in a tank behind him, and he just filled it up and let it gravity feed into the engine.  When it became hot enough, it spurted out and new colder water replaced it. 

I hope this guy fixes his Tuk Tuk soon.

The garden had all these concrete statues, and this large pumpkin shaped ‘building’ with a face on it.  You could climb in the face, and enter some internal chambers.  Within the center there was a spiral staircase going up through several other chambers.  Each chamber had demented looking statues in it.  Some were part Naga, others were things you couldnt quite understand.  Either way, it was creepy but fascinating.  I really haven’t seen anything like it.  You could go all the way to the top of the structure, and even climb the stock coming out the top, but I decided to pass on that final part.

Straight out of Indiana Jones.

Inside the pumpkin structure.

There were also some very large reclining Buddha statues, as well as a ton of multi armed and multi faced statues.  It was so bizarre that it immediately ranked high on my must see list just due to the strangeness of it.

For scale.

Reclining buddha x2.

I found this guy just sitting there with the rest,  and really couldnt figure out how he fit in.

Not sure how this guy fits in.