I’ve been on the road for two days now. My goal was Thakhek which is just a little bit too far to do in one day.
Just a short distance outside Vientiane is a park called Xieng Khuan Buddha park. It is meadow full of Buddhist and Hindu statues. Though many of them look ancient they were made using concrete starting in 1958 by a priest-shaman called Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat. The statues depict all manner of gods and creatures out of Buddhist and Hindu mythology; it’s a mix between weird and scary. The most prominent statue is a large pumpkin-like thing, the inside of which depicts Buddhist hell.
Scenes from the life of the Buddha
After visiting the statue park I set off towards Thakhek. The first few kilometers after leaving the park was dirt road and though it’s not the worst I’ve been on during this trip it was a pretty good baptism of fire for my new and improved luggage rack. I am happy to report that the rack held up, seemingly without damage. Once I got back on the main road things went smoothly. I stopped for the night in a small town called Pakxan, nothing much to see there, but there was a decent guesthouse; the lady at the reception actually spoke good English.
I left Pakxan in the morning, thinking it might take some time but it was smooth going and I reached Thakhek early afternoon. I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the next part of my journey, looking up maps and buying provisions. In the evening I met a Dutch couple who have been traveling by motorbike all the way from the Netherlands. We spent the evening drinking beer and swapping stories of bad roads and breakdowns.