Saturday Oct 16 – So we lost a day coming over and it took a day or more to get here, so I think it is the 16 of October. These dates may be a little off, but it doesn’t really matter. We are on vacation after all.
We arrived at our hotel after a short drive from the airport. Ok. Heres the deal. I have no idea what the heck is going on with the traffic. There may be traffic laws, but no seems to abide by them or the laws are crazy. Having said that, you get used to it pretty quickly. Pedestrians are of no value here so walk at your own peril. No one will hit you however. Everyone seems to cooperate and the mess works quite well. Take a deep breath and just start walking.
There is a wide avenue in front of our hotel, divided by a park with a large statue in it. We got across the road easy enough and went for a walk along the Mekong River. It’s not far from the hotel and the walk is easy down quiet residential streets. The roads are paved and there are side walks for the most part, but keep your wits about you. The surfaces can be uneven and unpaved here and there. We had no issues with dogs bothering us and it was a pleasant walk to the river.
The river here is the border between Laos and Thailand. It is shallow and wide with low sand bars running down it, here and there. We are twenty feet above the river now, but the rainy season is just barely ending. When the rains come the river can overflow its banks and spill into the city, easily. There is a bridge here, that connects the two countries and many people work in Thailand during the day and come back home at night.
The night market is setting up now and many stalls are already cooking many interesting items and selling soda, beer and produce. There are beautiful, tall, new hotels and apartment buildings in the distance up river. However, we are in the old part of the city and the buildings are eight or ten stories high at the most.
We walked for sometime along the Mekong and saw many children working with their parents in the market. They are very polite and cute. Eventually we headed back to the hotel for the night. The weather was perfect and the hotel was very comfortable. We are here just at the end of the rainy season, so rains are a possibility in our future.