Tuesday, May 24, 2011
We arrived in Laos after a long and arduous ordeal with immigration officials. Strangely the Laos border was only about one mile from where we had stayed the previous night. Our new tour guide, Alie, met us with our new bus on the Laos side of the border. We loaded up the bus and drove for about four hours until we reached Savannakhet, our home for the night. After a very late lunch, we set to explore the area. Some of us took a walk to the river to watch the sunset while the rest of the group went to a local park and played soccer and basketball with some of the local kids. Tomorrow we continue our journey in Laos and head to Vientiane—about a six hour bus ride from Savannakhet. Hopefully we can pick up some Laotian on the way!
We have arrived at Vientiane, which is the capital of Lao. We got a chance to wander around the city and see some of the major attractions including the Golden Stupa, three Buddhist temples, and the Victory Monument. Later on in the day, we had a meeting with the head of public affairs in the U.S. embassy in Laos and learned about her experiences. Our hotel was right next to the Presidential Palace and right across from the Mekong River, which separates Lao and Thailand! It was really nice to walk along the river. On our last night at Vientiane, we were treated to some traditional Lao dance and music.
From there, we continued our journey through the beautiful mountains of Laos to Phonsavan where we will be starting our library project for the next four days.