14th.February, Vientiane – Highlights of the capital
The drive again took us all morning and was not so scenic as on the previous day.
Vientiane the present capital is a normal city with 850,000 people and the hotel was in the usual city style. There are several temples, some now only museums, and the Ho Phrakeo, the palace of the last kings. These have also been restored or even only completed after the last king was deposed! The Americans built an airport and with the leftover cement the French built an Arc de Triomphe, which is now a tourist attraction. One can climb up it. The main tourist attraction though is still the golden Stupa That Luang.
The next day we transferred to the airport for the flight to Hanoi. Although we flew with only a slight delay it was still 18:00 by the time we reached the hotel, so our new guide Vo cancelled any sightseeing programme. We went out and had an entertaining meal, a sort of meat and vegetable fondue fried in butter, at one of the street eateries.