What a little capital. With something like 500,000 people, it feels very much like a little town rather than the Countries hub.
We got into town around noon yesterday and after a quick lunch I did all the site seeing I could handle (41*C is NOT comfortable to walk around in!!). I visited the Presidential Palace, a day market, looked at the Mekong Riverbed (because there is no water because it is so dry here- essentially you could walk across the river to thailand), and to this arc de triumf looking structure. It actually has a good story- the USA donated a bunch of cement to Laos because after bombing the area they needed a new place to land their planes so they intended it for the airport. The Laos government basically said 'up yours' and created this huge structure in a round about and call it the vertical airstrip.
After walking myself to a sweaty mess I headed back to the hotel, showered..and went for a massage where I was some what violated by a small asian woman. We ended up going for our first fancy (relative to $5 dinners) meal at an italian restaurant (run by a guy that could be the main character out of the sopranos) and then the gang went out for clubbing and I headed back for reading. A lady from the group gave me a book about a mission from the early 1900s that went through Siam (current day Thailand) and it's really interesting.
This morning I packed everything up to be air worthy (not an easy task I tell you) and then did a traditional laos activity.. of finding a nicer hotel and paying to use their pool:)
I later met my group and headed to the airport to catch a flight to Hanoi, and now I've checked in and am heading to bed. Night! Pictures come tomorrow probably.