God Vientiane is hot. Although I may just have been unlucky as the weather broke with a dramatic electic storm on the evening I left.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos. I didn't spend long here as it isn't the prettiest place and the tempterature just made it impossible to do much. I did manage to head to the morning market though and do a little shopping (which I posted back! Possibly a 50:50 chance of receiving it on time I think... or at all) I just bought some fabrics, which are really beautiful and good value. I've met a few people who just come here and buy fabrics for cheap and sell them back home for a mint. Maybe my next trip...
The market is a massive covered warehouse/area where you can quite literally buy anything you want. I saw guitars, brooches, dining tables, chip friers, baby food etc etc. And it is even hotter than outside! Somehow in this chaos I managed to lose my fan that I bought in Hong Kong. Gutted! It's the only way I can survive out here and I started to panic! I quickly gave up on finding it so I went to see if I could buy another. I spotted a Laos guy with a rather pretty pink flower fan and asked him where he got it and if I could buy one from the general stuff stall he was stood by. He obviously didn't understand me but turned to the girl next to him who spoke English and she took one look at my red sweaty face, grabbed it off him and with a concerned look said 'take it. present.' I accepted their charity humbly.
The only other thing I managed to do in Vientiane was to take a trip out of the city to the 'Buddah Park', an area by the river that contains many statues from the Buddist religious stories. It was an hour on the bus each but it was really worth it. In fact the journey was an adventure as I didn't see another westerner all day and noone on the bus spoke English. Well I got there somehow and was immediately pounced on by a group of Laos english students who wanted to practice their English. They were really nice and one of them had been a monk so he (tried to) explain what some of the statues represented. My favourite thing was the 'pumpkin', which had 3 or 4 floors inside it (it was pretty confusing inside!) with outer corridoors and inner rooms full of statues. (see photos)