A Good Day

A big advantage to realizing that I only have 2 months left is that it's pushing me more to get out and see places that I've been meaning to visit. I remember when I was staying in Russia I alwasy felt that I had plenty of time to visit museums or other towns and I kept putting it off. Suddenly, I only had 2 weeks left and there were tons of things I hadn't done.

I've gotten around a bit more in Vientiane but I've still let myself fall into this habit. Today though, I slept in a bit then got up and rode my bike downtown. I ate a late breakfast at the Scandanavian Bakery then struck up a conversation with 2 Dutch girls who are biking through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and China. After leaving the bakery I rode my bike around downtown and took pictures of some of the buildings. I wanted to visit 2 temples downtown. I knew that both were closed at lunch time so I put that off until after lunch. In the meantime I stopped to walk along the promenade on the banks of the Mekong. I stopped to grab a drink and ended up talking to an interesting Lao person who's studying in Vientiane. He has a background in working as a tour guide in Phongsali province and is very interested in eco-tourism so he was very interested in hearing about CUSO and that they have 2 eco-tourism placements starting next month.

I left there and biked back to the fountain area to grab lunch. I did my usual weekend treat of a baguette sandwich at PVO and a fruit smoothie from the juice lady up the street. This is one of the best lunch deals in Vientiane (possibly of all time). I got the vegetarian sandwich today so with a pineapple mango smoothie the total cost was only 10,000 kip (or aproximately $1 US).

From there I rode back to Wat Si Saket and took a lot of photos there. It's the oldest wat still standing in Vientiane. It's fairly recent, being built around the beginning of the 19th century but it was the only wat that wasn't destroyed when the siamese razed Vientiane. All of the other wats that were older were destroyed and had to be rebuilt later. It's a really interesting site. I've found all the wats I've visited to feel realy peaceful which is nice. I find going out to take photos pretty calming to begin with so this is a nice combination (note, I always ask for permission before taking pictures on the grounds of a wat).

I biked around a bit more after leaving the wat. I had finished 2 rolls of colour so I dropped them off to be developed. I shot a few more things after that before biking home.

This evening I tried eating somewhere new for me, I had seen a Japanese place downtown that I'd been curious about and today I tried it. It was okay but I didn't find it filling enough so I don't think I'll go back.

For next weekend, I think I'm going to make a trip to "Budha Park" which isn't far from town and from some of the photos I've seen, it looks pretty strange. Hamid is going away for 9 days starting next weekend but he's talking about going to Luang Prebang the weekend after he's back so I'll probably go with him. Plus there's also the up-coming end of service meeting that will likely be in Savanakhet so there's a few things going on. Should be an interesting 2 months.