The main reason for being in Vientaine so long has been to get my Indian Visa. I'm not going to be in India until March, and it starts running as soon as it's issued, so the guys here were reluctant to issue it initially, especially as I have no flight booked out of India. They suggested I wait until Yangon, the capital of Myanmar to apply. However, my contacts in Myanmar, need to see an Indian Visa, before they will issue me permits to cycle through some restricted areas. Complicated. Anyway, the nice man at the Indian Embassy, issued me a four month visa, instead of three months, so now I've got plenty of time... Must have been my clean shaven face, wonderful smile, and good looks that swayed his mind.
So seven days in one place has been worth it. Got to say, the food available here makes it worth the stop whatever the visa decision. I've loved it. And I've met a heap of cyclists, and exchanged heaps of info.
And in any Asian city, there is always something going on.....festivals mainly. With Chinese New Year coming up, it's pretty colourful. Today there was some sort of local arts festival, with paintings, sculpture, model building, music and dance happening all over the city.
Really noticable here are the number of French and Belgium visitors. More than Vietnam and Cambodia, which both have as much French history. And something really impressive, is hearing the waiters in the restaurants switching from Lao, to French, to English, to Thai, without battering an eye. Wish I had those skills.
So off into Thailand again tomorrow. I've got 15 days to get across to the Myanmar border, about 700 km. Should be pretty easy, things going well. Looking forward to being back on the bike.