Laos – Vientiane, Buddha park, COPE centre

29/05/16

This morning it was pouring down with rain, which I was upset about but didn’t let it dampen my spirit too much. I had some pancakes and banana for breakfast, and then chilled for a bit meeting other people.

I ended up jumping in a mini van with the people I had dinner with plus another and we headed to the Buddha park. The park was a 45 min journey and when there it was so swampy from the rain. We all had our ponchos on so it didn’t stop us from having a look around. Entry was only 3000kip too! I’m not sure if the park was set up on purpose for tourists or if it actually has some sentimental thought behind it. There’s some incredible statues there, and there was one where you could look inside and climb up. This one was really spooky with some amazing statues inside. It was a shame that it was so rainy as I didn’t spend very long looking at everything, and there were some really interesting ones like a sacrificial woman and a crocodile…

We then headed to the Cope centre which educated me about the cluster bomb problem in Laos where the Americans dropped millions of bombs and most of them didn’t explode so they are still exploding and injuring civilians. It was a sad harrowing eye opener to the problem that still exists, but at the same time the centre explained how they are helping recovery. It was amazing what they do to help the locals and I thought it was an excellent cause. It’s such a shame this cause has to exist but at least there are people out there who want to help.

Afterwards instead of taking a tuk tuk we walked back. We passed a pet shop which was a bit cruel, and a huge shopping centre which housed Zara and h&m. I made everyone go into the local market which was just next door and it was huge, so big that I lost everyone. I still enjoyed looking around and came across traditional clothing and food. From there I walked towards the presidential palace which is a really grand building. What I noticed while walking around is that there are many temples here, all very beautiful. I headed towards the river and saw a statue of Chou Anouvong who I assume is the president. There was a nice park behind and it made for a nice stroll, and I ended up coming across the night market being set up. I was secretly pleased that I did lose the others as I really enjoyed the walk and getting to see what’s around. I do still feel like it is an upcoming city but like Phnom Penh there is not a lot to do here.

In the evening I had some dinner at a local restaurant, and then headed to the night market. It was a shame because I was too late to really see the market and it was all closing down. It looked like a huge market selling a lot of stuff, quite similar to other places but I still enjoy looking round them.

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