The big Indochina trip: one day in Vientiane 

I had one main mission for today, getting my luggage rack fixed. It took me most of the morning to find a place that could do welding work and another hour or so to get the work done. Final result: the luggage rack is now nice and solid. Mind you it felt pretty solid after the last time I fixed it too but I’m more confident this time. Hopefully it will hold up for the rest of the journey.

The support struts should take some load off the other welds

Once I got the bike fixed I had some lunch down by the Mekong then made a quick stop at the nearby Chou Anouvong park.

Monument of Chou Anouvong 

After that I met up with the Russian guy, Alex, and went sightseeing together with him. We started out with COPE, a center for people disabled by UXO. Since I’ve been to the MAG office in Phonsavan it wasn’t super special but still powerful. The large collection of prosthetic limbs is a gruesome reminder of the damage these bombs can do.

Installation depicting a cluster bomb

Different kinds of UXO

Installation of prosthetic limbs 

When we were done at COPE we went back to the That Luang temple where we were yesterday. This time we could get in but we couldn’t really see that much more than from the outside. Still pretty impressive though.

The That Luang stupa

I like these snake creatures 

Some old statues broken when the Siamese attacked the city in the 19th century 

The large temple next to the stupa

Tree surrounded by Buddha statues 

Alex in full videographer mode.

We took a walk in the nearby area and stopped at the memorial for president Souphanouvong and the revolution monument. The memorial, which is in his old house, had a whole bunch of pictures of the president and on the top floor the rooms remained more or less like he left them. The revolution monument is typical of communist monuments which I think is cool.

Memorial of President Souphanouvong 

Revolution monument 

We also wanted to see the People’s Security Museum but when we got their it was closed and not a single person in sight so we were only able to see a bit from the outside. They had a number of old Soviet cars on display which was pretty cool.

Soviet cars on display 

Statue of police officers 

I like the way the inscription exudes communist values

I think That Luang is the most visit worthy of the places we went to today, but I think the People’s Security Museum would be good if it was open. The others are not really necessary to see but since they are nearby some interesting places, stop by if you have the time.

We also thought about going to the army museum but that was closed as well. With nothing better to do we headed down to the Mekong river to watch the sunset. Sitting there, looking out over Thailand on the other side of the river, the sun sinking down below the horizon; what a way to end a day.

Sun starting to set

Alex In videographer mode again

Plenty of people had the same idea as us

Some paragliders out for  sunset cruise

More sunset watchers 

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