We took a local bus to Vientiane. As with all transportation in Laos, just because it says the bus holds 40 people, it doesn’t really mean much. We were again crammed into a bus way over its capacity. After another 4 hours we arrived in Vientiane (the capital of Laos). That night we went out to dinner at a street stall. The street stalls here are much more advanced than everywhere else we have been, as they had tables and menus. We ordered Lao Soup, which is basically a broth (not sure if it’s veggie or meat) and you can order to have it with either with beef or chicken or seafood. We opted for a combination of chicken and beef. You get the broth in a clay bowl and it is placed on top of a bucket which has hot charcoals. This was placed on top of our table. We also received a plate with vegetables (Bok Choy, lettuce, green onions, basil and an egg) a plate with the raw chicken and the raw beef and a small bowl with chilies and garlic chopped up. The premise is that you cook everything yourself in the hot broth. We took a little bit of all the vegetables, threw in the chicken & beef, cracked open the egg, added some chilies and all the garlic and waited for all of this to cook. We only had to wait about 10 minutes and it was delicious! One of the best soups we’ve had so far.
The following day we rented a couple of bicycles and explored the city. It turns out it’s not that big but has some of the same charm as Luang Prabang. We went to see the Laos version of the Arc de Triomphe, which was built with concrete donated by the U.S.A to build a bridge. There were a lot of tourists there, foreign and Laos. At the top I was waiting for Andrew to take a picture when a Laos girl came over to me asking if I can take a picture of her. Of course I said yes, but it turned out she was asking if I can take a picture WITH her! I obliged and posed with her while her friend took the picture. I thought it was pretty funny that Andrew and I spend so much time taking pictures of the locals and now this girl wanted a picture with me. The rest of the day we spent drinking coffee and getting ready for the next day. It was really hot outside!