Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Laos Solo Ride Day 5: Vang Vieng - Vientiane, Laos

Heyya..


I had a good night stay in Vang Vieng.. I just wish I wouldn’t leave the small beautiful town with amazing sceneries..

The next journey was from Vang Vieng to Vientiane.. As Vang Vieng is located in Vientiane district, I knew Vientiane, the Capital of Laos, won’t be far away.. And based on the Laos Road Map, I can estimate the distance is around 160 km therefore it could take easily 1 and half hours of ride..

As I woke up early, I decided to leave Vang Vieng town during sunrise.. I wanted to catch the sunrise during riding, the view is surely gonna be awesome..

It was still dark when I checked-out from the guest house.. as I was warming up the bike, there was a litle café next to the guest house which has already opened its business.. They opened early because most of their customers are truck drivers.. I had toast bread and ice coffee for a light breakfast..
The sun was rising, simply beautiful.. Then I continued my journey to Vientiane.. The journey was very easy.. the road condition was great, smooth and no hills to be encountered at all.. Nice!


As I was approaching Vientiane, the distances between villages became closer and there were more vehicles and traffics can be seen..


I had grilled chicken with sticky rice for my brunch at one of the towns near Vientiane.. They also served grilled pork and beef..

I continued riding and without noticing any of the sign boards, I have entered the Vientiane city.. I only realized after I saw the signage of Vientiane International Airport.. I believe I reached Vientiane city before 10 o’clock in the morning..
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos and it is located along Mekong River, which is the border of Laos and Thailand.. Vientiane became the capital of Laos since 1563 due to the fears of Burmese invasion.. Previously, Luang Prabang was the capital of Laos..
During most of my rides, the first challenge of reaching in a big city would be to find an accommodation.. It would be challenging as I do not wanna stay too far from the city center and tourist attractions.. I always prefer the hotel to be within a walking distance with tourist attractions.. It is one of the reasons why I would prefer to start riding early so and I could reach my destinations early.. Therefore I could have plenty of time to find an accommodation place and have plenty of time for sight-seeing in the city..
Normally, I would find couple of tourists attractions in the city.. I would be a new stranger to the city.. I will ride between these places and try to find a hotel.. Also having many pubs and restaurants are the advantages.. It will be easier for me to find food and chill out with new friends at bars / pubs..
Sometimes, when I’ve found a great location of a hotel, the hotel could be fully occupied.. even most of the hotels would be already occupied..
But luckily, I’ve found a beautiful and new hotel within the tourist area.. It’s called AV Hotel.. The Patuxay Park, Royal Palaces, Mekong River and Restaurants are within walking distance to the AV Hotel..
Ironically, one of the hotel guests from China noticed me because we’ve met at Luang Prabang before and she was staying at the same hotel with me..
As usual, I would check-in, grab a shower, change to the usual pair of flip-flops & shorts and get ready to venture the city..






The first tourist attraction was the Patuxay Park.. Patuxay Park is located at the end of Lang Xang Avenue.. Patuxay means Victory Gate (Patu – Gate; Xay – Victory) and was built in 1957 to dedicate the Lao soldiers during the World War II.. It is also a symbol of independence war from France in 1949..
The Patuxay Park was crowded with tourists and I’ve met lots of tourists from Thailand and they were impressed of me for riding up from Boten to Vientiane, and will be back to Kuala Lumpur via Nong Khai..



Then I went to Laos Royal Palace and Temples which are surrounded the palace.. The temples are called Wat Si Muang and Haw Phra Kaew..




Within the Royal Place and Temples, the King Anouvong statue is located nearby.. The huge gigantic bronze statue is located along the Mekong River and faces Nong Khai, Thailand..




Then I went to find the Laos – Thailand Friendship Bridge.. The Friendship Bridge is approximately 20 km from the Vientiane city and it is where the Laos Immigration and Customs are located.. The friendship bridge connects Laos and Thailand at Nong Khai..
It was near 5.30 pm so I decided to find a good restaurant along the Mekong River to have a great sunset view..
As usual, when I travel near Mekong River, I would normally have a grilled carp fish which was freshly caught from the Mekong River.. They grilled the carp fish in coarse salt and served it with spicy thick dipping sauce and lemon.. The grilled carp fish can be eaten with sticky rice, along with Lao beer..



The sunset along the Mekong River was perfect and breathtaking.. i was lucky because it had been sunny all day long with clear skies.. Knowing I have travelled from Boten to Vientiane, I felt I had such a great journey as a solo rider, tackling the thousands of corners, rough road conditions, challenging terrains and beautiful sceneries.. 
The sunset dinner in Vientiane was the last sunset I witnessed from Laos country.. it was such an emotional moment for me..


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