with the new year over, the city was eerily quiet this morning. this is the sleepy laos that everyone talks about, not even a car horn could be heard honking.

today i visited two temples, pha that luang, the "sacred golden stupa," which i walked to in the hot weather because all the tuk tuk drivers and i couldn't agree on a price to drive me the 4km distance to the stupa. when i had my fill of golden stupa, i came out and bought some coconut ice cream, as well as a mysterious cold jelly drink that came in a bag (i'm not afraid of the local ice!).

coming back, i ran into a tuk tuk driver who was kind enough to drive me into town for just a dollar. i figured i'd have to stay in vientiane one more day because all the tour offices are closed (because of the new year) so i couldn't find a place to buy a bus ticket to luang prabang. my driver heard my plight and brought me to a depot that was still opened for business. i purchased a ticket, so tomorrow morning i'm leaving the capital.

back at the guesthouse, i went out to get some lunch before walking to wat si saket, the temple with all the little buddhist alcoves, the one i got in for free yesterday. i bumped into andy, whom i met back in saigon, along with 2 of his friends, all americans. we're going to get together for some chinese wonton later tonight at my new favorite vientiane restaurant.

pha that luang (sacred golden stupa)

5 golden buddhas

crazy buddhist ceiling

street drinks

buddha reserve storeroom (wat si saket)

pepsi ice and schweppes sparking dry ale