View our location map in Vientiane

We arrived in Vientiane a day or two before our Lao visa’s ran out, so our first task was to go to Thailand for the day and renew our visa’s.  It worked out well because we got to go to an actual supermarket (we now realise how we have missed supermarkets and normal stuff in Laos!) and buy some basic supplies like toothpaste etc, and then return to Vientiane.

A couple of days before we left Luang Prabang we randomly met a couple of guys who had riden dirt bikes from Vientiane to Luang Prabang.  We ended up going to dinner with these guys and after talking for hours, ended up agreeing to visit Ben in Vientiane, where he lives with his wife and daughter, after his brother (who was his dirt bike riding companion) had finished his holiday with them.

So, we found ourselves in Vientiane with one of the coolest guys we had met on this trip, and spent the following 10 days hanging out with him, his wife Christerine and their daughter Ashley.   We quicky realised that we are meant to be here to see these guys, they have made such an awesome positive impact on our lives and we think we will end up being friends for a long time.  We also got to catch up with Eric and Emma again and had dinner before our goodbyes for Lao and hopes to catch up again in Vietnam or elsewhere.

If it wasn’t for Ben and Christerine, we probably would have left Vientiane a day or two after we arrived, because it is a dirty, dusty, hot city with not really any redeeming features.  (We haven’t really taken any photos here because there isn’t much that inspires us or is photo-worthy.)  The definite highlight of Vientiane has been going to Christerine’s favourite, awesome massage place and getting full body massages – pure bliss.  We initially planned to hang out with Ben and Christerine until the end of Oct when they were going to go to Thailand… we soon realised though that we couldn’t stand being in Vientiane for that long.  So when we decided that we couldn’t take the dust and opressiveness of Vientiane anymore, we told Ben and Christerine we had to get out of there.  They then invited us to spend the following month with them in Chiang Rai, where they have now rented a huge 2-storey house for us all to stay in.

So… instead of going to Vietnam next we have decided to spend at least part of the next month with them in Chiang Rai.  So back to Thailand we go… for the 3rd time so far in this trip.