An afternoon of travelling meant that we had to be up and out by 7.30 in order to cram in quite a bit of sightseeing before we headed off to Vang Vieng
We had organised a tuk tuk to take us to Buddha Park and Wat Pha That Luang temple, which would take us until about 11am, giving us enough time to grab something to eat before setting off.
Buddha Park was about 45 minutes away from the hotel, so it was an interesting and bumpy ride, but as we got there early it was empty, which is a rarity at any tourism spot in Asia. Buddha Park is a recent addition to Vientiane, being built in 1958 and comprises of 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues, including a giant pumpkin with three levels which represent heaven, Earth and Hell.
The views from the top of the pumpkin are quite good although it is quite a task to navigate your way up there! The park has a very eerie feeling to it, with the various statues representing animals and demons from both the buddhist and Hindu religion.
Buddha Park is also home to a reclining Buddha. All the statues within the park seem to be made from stone and certain statues have names of their donators inscribed on them.
After Buddha Park, we made our way to Wat Pha That Luang temple, which is described as Laos’, most important monument. The name translates to ‘Golden Stupa’ and is covered in gold leaf. It was really very impressive, especially on approach.
Along with the main temple, there were some smaller temples, which were very prettily decorated. Next door there was another reclining Buddha, this time in a glory of gold, rather than stone.
Back at the hotel, we headed for a local bakery to grab some lunch for the journey. This is where I discovered the most amazing cinnamon bun in the world! If you are ever in Laos, check out Joma bakery if there is one where you are staying. The prices are very western, as is the food, but it is very good. On this occasion, I went for the breakfast burrito, a spinach quiche and of course the cinnamon bun.
Before we set of on our 4 hour bus journey, we had a surprise for one of the girls as it was her birthday, and every birthday girl needs cake!
Setting off at around 1pm, meant we arrived into Vang Vieng just before Sunset, where we were greeted by an array of hot air balloons drifting up into the sky, it was beautiful and me and a few other girls decided that we wanted to do this the next day at sunrise!
We had made plans to go to a local village for dinner that night, so before we went we had a quick wander around, taking in the beautiful scenery and sunset and then made our way out for some local food and dancing!
I wasn’t a massive fan of the evening, mainly because we were surrounded by kids! The food was average, as I later found out Laos isn’t famous for its food, due to their lack of cooking appliances, but it was an experience being in a local village.
I was so excited for the next day, as lots of adventure awaited me! Check out my next post to see what I got up to!
P.S Don’t forget to follow my adventures using the #lennystripofalifetime