Our third and final day in Vientiane and we fly back home tomorrow.
Bright and early in the morning, we had already worked up a little sweat and a big appetite while cooking our very own Lao food.
The last major destination on our list: Buddha Park. We took bus number 8, made a stop at the station, and continued all the way with a tuk-tuk. The ride cost us 6.000 Kip each way for the bus and 100.000 Kip for the tuk-tuk from the station to Buddha Park and back to the morning market (we made a deal with the driver to wait for us at Buddha Park). It took us about 45 minutes each way and I imagined riding a tuk-tuk would be much faster than a bus. Alternatively, bus number 14 runs regularly from the central Khua Din Bus Station, opposite the morning market. Tickets are 6.000 Kip each way.
If you are riding a tuk-tuk, remember to wear sunglasses and a scarf or something to cover yourself (at least your eyes, nose, and mouth) because the roads get extremely dusty and sandy along the way. Be prepared for plenty of potholes too! But despite all that, Buddha Park is a must-visit in my book!
Located 25km Southeast of Vientiane on the riverfront, Buddha Park (Wat Xieng Khuang), just a few kilometres past the Friendship Bridge, is a sculpture park showcasing over 200 Hindu and Buddhist statues depicting humans, gods, animals, and demons.
A pumpkin-like sculpture with three levels, each representing a different story – Hell, Earth, Heaven.
You can enter the gigantic pumpkin through the mouth of a 3-meter high demon head and climb the staircase from hell to heaven. Each level is filled with sculptures depicting a different story. From the very top, the view of the entire park is visible.
The statuary at Buddha Park lends a curious, mystical, and almost eerie quality to it.
Just couldn’t help myself.
This particular statue’s facial expression caught our eyes because he looked so real.
The iconic 120-meter high reclining Buddha statue
Around 25km outside of Vientiane, past the Friendship Bridge
Thanon Tha Deua
Mon – Sun: 8 AM – 4:30 PM
Dinner: DOUANG DEUANE RESTAURANT
A charming, little French bistro, Douang Deuane was buzzing with locals and tourists who nibbled while listening to the sound of an old piano played by none other than the owner, a French native, himself. I fancied the restaurant for its vintage appeal and character.
VIENTIANE NIGHT MARKET
The Vientiane Night Market by the Mekong riverside opens everyday around sunset. Mainly a tourist zone, the night market appeared very clean and tidy. Offering everything from clothing and accessories to paintings and souvenirs, the promenade is busy with locals and tourists wandering and shopping. By the roadside, you’ll also see food vendors selling a variety of sweet and savory snacks.
You had one job to do, come on…
A final little snack for the night – banana and chocolate crêpe.
VIENTIANE NIGHT MARKET
By the Mekong riverside (look for red-roofed stalls)
Where to next? We shall see.
To leave you with a final thought:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
– Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky