I am not sure what makes me like, or dislike a City. Sometimes it is the people, where you stay, or the journey there, or sometimes I just don’t know; I just don’t click with a place.
I really loved Laos, it is one of my favourite South East Asia countries so far. There is a real Genuineness to it, a rawness that isn’t present in places like Thailand. It is like Laos is still finding its feet in the tourism industry. I do hope it stays that way.
I didn’t like all the places that I visited in Laos however.
Vientiane, is the capital of Laos, and for some reason, I didn’t click with it. It may have been a combination of the people, the accommodation, and the journey there that has made this evaluation. Who knows.
The Journey to Vientiane
My Journey from Luanag Prabang was supposed to take 8 hours. It took 12 hours. The bus kept breaking down, it was raining and I was extremely tired, having been up since 5am
On arrival into Vientiane, it was dark, and I got dropped off at some obscure place in the city. I went to Vientiane with another traveller, I met on the slow boat, and we had to wander around for a while, trying to find a place to sleep. We ended up in some low grade hotel, with a dirty bathroom, barely functional shower, and being woken up at 6am by the construction site noise from nearby. We did manage to move to a better hostel for the second night, but it wasn’t a good start.
I found Vientiane quite seedy and dark. At night, sex workers and dodgy looking men wandered the streets, drunk people tried to make a pass at you, and I ended up getting followed by a shady looking guy during the day.
Shop owners also appeared unfriendly and disinterested, even when you smiled and made your best attempt at saying Kop Chai’ (Thank-you) to them.
Although, there are some beautiful places; Vientiane became a mere stop over for me. A place to break up the long bus ride South. I was a complete tourist, I visited the main sites, consisting of Temples and Museums.
For the most part however, I wandered around a little disinterested, just snapping pictures, and moving on.
Perhaps the people of Vientiane are tired of the transient tourists, or the people coming from Thailand on a Visa run, or maybe I just didn’t give it a fair shot?
Have you been to Vientiane? Did I miss out on anything special?
What is your least favourite Capital City?