I have been told that unlike Thailand and Cambodia Laos has no sex tourism as the government won’t stand for it. I hope this is true and if so stays this way as this country is truly one of the most beautiful places with the most beautiful people. I wish I had more time to explore this wonderful country and know I must come back one day. Vientiane is a big ugly busy city like most and yet is unlike most, Vientiane is clean and far more relaxed than most cities I have travelled in, driving in Vientiane is not only easy but the decided lack of horns is like music to ones ears.
There are a number of things to see Vientiane but the most fascinating of all is 25km south of the city and this is the Buddha Park. One man’s vision filled a park with hundreds of figurines of Buddha it’s surreal and yet strangely compelling and peaceful but at times almost disturbing. No matter what you feel of think of the Buddha Park it is decidedly with a visit.
It was with my usual trepidation that I left the safety of Vientiane always nervous that my bike would not get me to my next destination. I wish this paranoia would disappear. It does not last the entire day and does not badly affect my enjoyment but just pops into my head at random times sometimes spoiling a perfect moment. The ride out of Vientiane is rather unexciting a rather long boring tar road that is not too bad, with a fair bit of traffic. One thing I must remember to say before I forget, the toilets in south East Asia are fantastic. I got to a point in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia where I just could not use the toilets and would hold it in until I was on the road and pull off to pee. I am not a prissy squeamish person at all but after retching to the potion of very nearly throwing up on more than one occasion I just knew my stomach could not handle the toilets anymore. I am from Africa I have camped, hiked and stayed in places with long drops but nothing could prepare me the sights and smells of the toilets I came across. I cannot understand why the Russians, Kazaks and Mongolians cannot get it right when the SE Asian gets it so perfectly right and they are in the hot steamy tropics. So needless to say I had no problem pulling into any service station to use the little Asian squatty toilets along my routes.