Our Chinese adventure has sadly come to an end and we are now back in tropical South East Asia, Vientiane in Laos to be exact. It’s been strange adjusting to this sleepy town after the sublime madness that is China and its quadjillions of inhabitants, but we’ve found it charming and a welcome change from the constant flux of people in China. To put things in perspective, Shanghai has 30 million people and Vientiane, the capital of Laos mind you, has only 200,000 – there’s no jostling for position on a crowded subway carriage here!
One thing though that hasn’t been as welcome is the incessant rain!!! We had some downpours in Vietnam towards the end of our trip there and in China, but those were sporadic and short-lived. I think that lulled us into false sense of security’s little lair and we weren’t expecting the wet season to be so bad. We were wrong, bigtime – it’s been pissing it down here pretty much most days, all day! If this was the start of our round the world adventure, we may have been dismayed about the whole thing, but as we’ve seen and done shitloads already, we’re happy to be a bit lazy and just wait out the rain.
But for you guys who haven’t started on your voyages just yet…TOP TIP: if you can, try to plan to start your trip out of wet season wherever you are going, preferably soon after wet season ends as the waterfalls should still be flowing. That way, you can get out there into the wild and devour as much as possible without having to worry about using your backpack as a very small raft!
All that said, we did mange to get out for a bit yesterday when it was dry and we took a dander up to Patuxai (the Victory Gate of Vientiane). It is a take on the Arc De Triomphe and although not as impressive or grand, it is beautiful in its own right and does not have a chaotic traffic circus doing a merry dance around it! The Victory Gate is adorned with intricate and colourful Hindu artwork and it offered us a good 360 degree view of this very low-key, low-rise, verdant town and, of course, some ominous clouds….
Stayed tuned tomorrow for the final blog post about our time in Banlung, Cambodia – “Could you give it all up and live in the jungle?”