After our adventure in Pru Kradung we traveled closer to the Laos/Thailand border and stayed for a night in the laid back little town of Nong Khai. This place had a great relaxed feel and is sat right on the Mekong River which, although I wouldn’t dare swim in it, is nice to look at.
Nong Khai would be a nice place to chill out for a few days although we had a schedule to keep – the next day we did a little shopping, eating and got a massage before crossing the Friendship Bridge (commonly known as the AIDs bridge in Laos, as they believe that’s what the Thais commonly bring with them when visiting their country…)
We took a bus over the bridge and on the other side handed over our dollars, waited and got our second passport stamp of the trip. Bring on Laos!
A quick Tuk Tuk ride into the capital city Vientiane and we stopped at a recommended hotel from our Lonely Planet. Unfortunately, as I suspect because every traveler is carrying a copy of South East Asia on a Shoestring, this hotel was fully booked. We soon realised that the South East Asian games are being held that week in Vientiane and hotel prices were doubled.
We booked a room and quickly decided to move on to the party town of Vang Vieng the next day. For all the time I have spent in Asia I hadn’t yet eaten any insects – the restaurant that night had some on offer so we tried deep fried crickets. Verdict? Crunchy, bitty, tasty and comparable to pretty much anything you deep fry.
Although I love Thai Food (and anything new!) it was good to get hold of some “normal” food – we already had French Baguettes in Nong Khai but we were still craving carbs after a few days in Phu Kradung eating only Thai food (What’s for breakfast?). Vientiane, and Laos in general, has a strong French influence which you can see in the architecture and more obviously in the food – we took advantage of this!
While Vientienne was pleasant and laid back there didn’t seem to be much to do. We visited the Freedom Monument, saw a temple or two and wandered around until our bus in the afternoon took us on a road trip to Vang Vieng.
Next up tubing, drinking, river rope swings, wood oven pizzas and a death slide run by ladyboys. It is the backpackers blackhole ladies and gentleman – Vang Vieng!
Nong Khai Photos
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