Today I got up and had breakfast then went out on the motorbike I rented for the day! 25 Kilometers on a crap road when you don’t know where you are going can take forever!
I stopped for gas then water then to take a photo of the US Embassy but apparently it’s not permitted! So I screenshot one off of Google Maps to share with you.
The ride there was slow as I was being extremely cautious and not sure of where I was going. Hitting a pothole on a scooter is kinda scary. If you blow a tire you’re kinda screwed. So I spent a lot of time dodging potholes, traffic, road work, and on coming scooters. Apparently women think it’s safer to ride on the wrong side of the road instead of having to turn left from the opposite side of the road. It’s not!!!
I passed 2 country clubs and a lot of beautiful areas. I can totally see myself living in Vientiane.
I finally reached Buddha Park. It is totally a tourist attraction. But it’s fun and fascinating. Purists Backpackers and travel guides turn their noses up because it’s not an authentic cultural experience. “If you only have a day in Vientiane, we’d pick a lot of other sights and activities first over Buddha Park”. Whatever! It should be branded a work of modern art. Just like the white temple in Chaing Rai. It’s fun and whimsical. I enjoyed climbing to the top of the huge pumpkin depicting heaven and hell. The steps were like 2 inches deep and completely irregular. There are no safety measures taken. It’s hilarious. The entire park is fun and a beautiful setting on the Mekong River. The onsite restaurant has cute little bungalows to sit in for lunch. I grabbed one with a view of the river and a Beerlao. I met a nice Vietnamese girl traveling alone having a beer and doing cross stitch. We chatted and then I decided to move onto the next site. An hour scooter ride away.
It was midday and the sun was blazing hot. In addition to the helmet and wearing all black. I was dehydrating. I don’t think the large beer helped. I did help me go a lot faster. Nothing like a little alcohol to loosen up your fears. I was blazing through traffic now!
When I arrived at the Temple I was hot, dizzy, and starting to get a headache. They just had a festival and the place looked like a dump! Rotting flowers and junk everywhere. I threw my water bottle in a bucket of what I thought was trash only to have a million flys fly out of a bucket of crap. I totally heaved and vomited outside the temple.
I then rode onto the Arch in the middle of the city in the middle of a rotunda I went around twice as I missed the parking the first time.
I was completely hot and exhausted at this point. So I went into an air conditioned restaurant for an ice tea and sparkling water.
I decided to then treat myself to a coconut oil massage. Why are all these little women so strong?!? She literally was walking on my legs and back! It was an amazing one hour massage when all was said and done for $13. It would have been $7.50 if I didn’t want the oil. This was an herbal spa but I decided to pass on sitting in a sauna with a bunch of men. As I was leaving there were a few women covering themselves with a mud like substance they purchased there.
Afterwards I went back to my room to take a nap. After my nap I headed out to the night market to grab some gifts and something to eat.
When I went back to the hotel the front desk guy from Lebanon wanted to chat about reaching a level of consciousness the most people have to clue about. About how we should be rejoicing in death as the conscious has moved onto another level.
I was too tired to have this conversation and graciously went to pack. As I pondered if I was dreaming or when I’m dreaming I’m actually living, I tried to stuff everything I had purchased into my backpack. Not looking to good!