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Arriving in Vientiane, Laos via Nong Khai

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.

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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…)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Vientiane Photos

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Written by Carey

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