4th - 10th June 2004
In Vientiane we were invited to stay with Martin and Kate, a British/Swedish couple who have been living there for the past eight years. Not only did they treat us to wonderful food and hospitality, Kate was on holiday and very kindly took us to see some of the tourist sights of Vientiane. And we were able to watch the final episode of the "Lord of the Rings" on DVD!
This is the Vientiane Buddha Park:
And this is That Luang, a wonderful gold painted monument:
All too soon our visa was about to expire and we had to move on to Thailand. We were a bit concerned that the "Friendship Bridge" might be difficult with the bikes because we'd heard that it was not permitted to ride across it, but it turned out that although there were signs forbidding bicycles, no-one stopped us. This is the view from halfway over, Laos on the left, Thailand on the right:
In Nong Khai we spent a pleasant few days at Mutmee guesthouse until it was time to go to Bankok to meet Ju's sister Andrea and her partner Laura. In Nong Khai we met Kerstin who runs Travel to teach, which arranges placements for volunteers of a whole range of nationalities who wish to gain experience of teaching English or IT. We also visited the sculpture park there which was designed by the same artist as the Vientiane sculpture park.
Travel to teach volunteers and Ju teach monks in Wat Sri Kum Muang:
Nong Khai sculpture park:
Kerstin kindly looked after our bikes and gear while we spent two weeks travelling by bus, boat and train to Bankok, Koh Tao and Khao Sok with Ju's sister Andrea and her partner Laura.
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