VIENTIANE, LAOS – Almost got bitten by two stray dogs of Vientiane Laos while doing some walking and touring of the capital.
First of all, there was no direct flight to Vientiane from Manila. I had to hop off from Kuala Lumpur again via AirAsia.
Where to stay: iHouse Residence Hotel
iHouse was a comfortable cheap hotel choice in Vientiane. This one is near the Nam Phou Fountain and a short walk to the Mekong River where you can see the Night Market along the road and the Chao Anouvong Park.
I arrived early hence I needed to stay in the lobby for a while. I have arranged my bus ride to Vang Vieng while waiting. The staffs were friendly and accommodating.
The room itself was dimly lit and a bit small. I am not complaining though since I was just staying for a night.
Other Vientiane hotels/accommodations you can check out:
Walking around Vietiane
From the fountain, I followed the road of Rue Setthathilath until I have reached Wat Mixai or Inpeng Temple.
Then went to the Lao National Museum before its closing time.
The building was old and dilapidated and you wonder why the entrance fee has to be that high.
Just like the rest of the ASEAN countries, Laos has a vibrant history and culture. How its leaders, even in the Philippines, managed to take care of its people is another matter.
Went next to That Dam and visited a local trading bookshop near the area. After which went to Talat Sao Shopping Mall. Not really the type of mall I was expecting but I was a great experience nonetheless.
Stray dogs of Vientiane Laos
From Talat Sao, Ave Lane Xang is a big and clean avenue with Patuxai as a centerpiece.
Patuxai, Victory Gate or the Arc de Triomphe of Vientiane was built during the 50’s as a war monument to celebrate Laos’ independence from France.
This monument and the park attached to it were a good place to see the locals.
Patuxai is kind of photogenic. A good subject during Golden Hour and gives a nice effect as a silhouette when it is about to get dark.
Perhaps what I was not prepared for when I walked along Singha Road towards Pha That Luang, were the strays dogs. Most homes in Lao were not fenced and it seems the most convenient way to guard their homes were by having guard dogs.
I was walking in the pavement when two big canine came barking and running towards me. I do not have time to react and was left with no choice but to stay put and not move a muscle. They circled around me and kept on barking. I think I was frozen for about a minute. I dare not to look at them in the eyes not to anger them further.
Since I realize no one will be there to help me and to be honest to be bitten by a dog in a foreign land is not really a good plan, I gathered all the courage to move and walk away.
I did manage to walk away without the dogs taking a bite out of me.
Throughout that road and going back once again to Patuxai was scared sh*t of the dogs. Would suggest to take extra caution when walking alone or even in a group in Vientiane.
On the other hand, Pha That Luang is also a beauty. It is unique and has it own character. You may not help compare it to other similar structures throught ASEAN but this one is different.
I like the effect of its color when hit by sunlight. Definitely a must visit despite a near-bite from some dogs.
The Allure of the Mekong River
As a carefully walk my way to Mekong Riverbank, passing by Nong Sa Phang Lenh Park, the Police Museum and seeing Patuxai again, it was a rush before the sunset.
I first saw the Mekong River in Phnom Penh, Cambodia but I was not able to see it up close. Chao Anouvong Park was quite busy during this time.
I decided to walk along the riverbank and was surprised when I saw the locals playing in the exposed part of the riverbed. Later on, I will have learned that this part was actually named Hat Don Chan.
So it was kind of exciting to set foot on the Mekong River itself.
After this short stroll, went back to iHouse.
The next day, I will be riding a bus to Vang Vieng.