Really, I could have spent the whole day popping in and looking at all the temples in Vientiane, but I think J would have abandoned me. We headed along the road to find lunch. Up ahead, a group of westerners were consulting a map. Hang on. Isn’t that... the boat people? We drew closer and confirmed that sure enough, there they were. They were so busy with their map and plans that they didn’t see us coming. “Anyone know where to get a good feed around here”, I said loudly as we approached.
We had no intention of walking the whole way, but we found ourselves enjoying the street scene and soon found ourselves at Patu Xay, the Vientiane equivalent of the arch de triumph. It’s a bit of a white elephant, but a must see. Surrounded by beautifully maintained gardens, and hundreds of locals and tourists, it stands in the middle of the double lane, divided road. Looking down, and/or up, the stately thoroughfare, you sort of felt you were in Paris, or somewhere in Europe. I kind-of liked it, but also kind-of thought it was the epitome of kitsch. Really, it is a bit showy and gaudy. Nevertheless, it just has to be done, and we had a cool drink as we walked around the grounds.