Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 24: And the Cycling Continues

Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 24: And the Cycling Continues

Previously: Part 23 – Pyongyang? No, it’s Vientiane!

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Still Day 6: Saturday, 31 August 2013

And so, the three of us cycled together towards… well we did not decide yet, actually. I accompanied them for lunch first before we cycled back towards the city centre. So far, Avenue Kaysone Phomvihane is the busiest road in Vientiane for me.

Kami bertiga pun terus mengayuh basikal ke destinasi seterusnya… ke… okay sebenarnya kami pun tak buat keputusan lagi nak pergi mana sebenarnya. Aku teman diorang berdua makan sebelum sambung mengayuh ke kawasan pusat bandar. Pada aku, memang Avenue Kaysone Phomvihane ni jalan yang paling sibuk di Vientiane.

Next stop – this museum.

We cycled and cycled whilst soaking ourselves in the sights and sound of Vientiane which is 100% different from Kuala Lumpur.  The city is dusty, the signboards are in foreign scripts and the smell, well, it was different.

Kami kayuh dan terus kayuh sambil menghayati suasana di Vientiane. Memang suasana kat sini 100% berbeza dari Kuala Lumpur. Dengan habuknya, tulisan yang sepatah haram aku tak fahamnya, baunya… Semuanya memang berbeza.

Typical view of museums/government buildings in Vientiane.

Martin and I, both are self-confessed history lovers, decided to check the Lao People’s Army Museum as it might show how the people fought for Laos’ independence. When we reached the museum and saw its golden fighters statue, we were excited to check it out.

Aku dan Martin, dua-dua suka sejarah, ingat nak tengok Muzium Tentera Rakyat Laos. Sesampainya kami kat muzium tu, kami nampak pulak patung emas tentara Laos, terus jadi teruja gila.

An old fighter jet being exhibited in the museum’s compound.

However, turned out it was close for the day (the same for other government’s establishment too – they close at 4.00 pm). We just snapped some photos before cycled to the Patuxai to catch some breath.

Malangnya, nasib tak menyebelahi kami. Jam dah pukul 4 petang dan macam pejabat kerajaan lain kat Laos, muzium ni dah tutup. Kami ambil gambar dari luar sebelum kayuh ke Patuxai untuk lepak-lepak ambil angin.

The golden statue.

As we reached Patuxai, we sat on the bench and had a wonderful chit chat in the evening. We also did people-watching and commented on the acts of the people who were at the Patuxai. It was fun and memorable.

Dekat Patuxai, kami bukan buat apa pun. Duduk-duduk sembang lepas tu usha orang ramai. Seronok usha orang tau sebab kami dapat tengok macam-macam gelagat orang kat sini.

People swarming the Patuxai.

There were so many people at Patuxai in the evening, mostly families with small kids. There were also people with cameras hanging on their neck, asking if one wants to have their photos taken. These photographers went to families and showed them a laminated sheet of paper containing samples of their works.

Ramai orang kat Patuxai waktu petang, kebanyakannya dengan keluarga yang ada anak kecil. Aku perasan, ada ramai jugak orang yang bawak kamera gantung kat leher, tanya pengunjung kat situ nak tak gambar diambil. Photographer ni akan pergi kat keluarga dan tunjuk sampel gambar-gambar yang diorang dah ambil.

Instant official photo? Anyone?

One surprise though: they brought together a portable printer and laminating machines! So, those who choose to have their photos taken will get their photos on the spot.

Satu benda yang aku terkejut lepas dok usha photographer ni, diorang siap bawak printer mudah alih dan mesin nak laminate! Jadi, boleh dapat gambar on the spot.

Perhaps they are negotiating the price of the photo.

Have you ever bought the photographs taken by the so-called official photographers at any attraction that you visited? 

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To be continued – Part 25

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Lao’s People Army Museum is located near Patuxai. As with other museums and government offices in Vientiane, it closes around 4.00 pm.

The entrance fee is  3,000 kip [as of August 2013].

16 Replies to “Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 24: And the Cycling Continues”

  1. I like to visit museums too when I’m in another country. But next time kena plan sikit and check visiting hours beforehand. I’m sure ada lebih banyak interesting things at the museum

    1. Yes it is very true! Haha. Sebab macam masa I kat Vientiane, I cycle je. Kadang-kadang rasa macam “Eh dah sampai mana lah ni..”

      The terrain is mostly flat in Vientiane and the road is good too. So does the traffic. 🙂

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