Wanting to be near civilization, or atleast a town with electricity, I hurried up to Vientiane on a night bus from Pakse. Arriving at 4:30am I only had to walk away from three taxis before I found one that would take me, for a reasonable price, to the hotel I hoped to stay at. Seeing as it was well before daybreak when the taxi dropped me off on the wrong corner, nothing was open. I walked around the neighborhood, confirmed that my hotel was shut tight and went back to the main street to wait for daybreak with the two drunk Swiss guys locked out of their hotel who were sitting on the curb.
Although Vientiane is the capital of Laos, it has little more to offer the tourist than a few Wats and Western food. I did manage to make good use of Laos? first ATM–installed only few weeks prior. My goal for the two days I intended to stay in town was to have a nice, expensive Christmas dinner and stay in a hotel room with a shower floor I could walk on with my bare feet. Considering my dinner cost only one dollar less than my relatively expensive hotel room I feel I was successful on both counts.
You can see the photos from Vientiane here.