Patrick Pang

Vientiane – The other side of life

Oct
10

I never knew how people in developing nations lived and how their living standards are. But after visiting Vientiane, I’ve somehow realised and understand how it is all about, its all about LIFE.

I remembered walking around at a local shopping mall and came across this 2 little children. The boy has no clothes and no shoe, while the girl was accompanying him (possibly the sister). He was looking at the toys that were sold in the shop. He was amazed with it. But yet, due to their financial conditions, there was no way for them to buy it. His mom simply walks off.

Not too far away, there was an old lady, probably at least 70 years old. She was sitting at a corner selling baskets.

When night falls, children as young as 5 years old walks around the streets and sells chewing gum. Where were their parents? I don’t know cause I didn’t see any at all.

Most people in the country seem to live in a pretty carefree environment. Shops closes at 5pm and even bars closes at 11pm. No one opens beyond mid night and by then, its almost like a ghost town. The cafes are quiet, bars are nice to chill and its a nice place to relax. I’ve come to realised how lucky we are in Singapore.

I’ve seen the other side of life  and it has made me cherish the people and things around me even more.

Vientiane – More than just temples

Oct
10

You will be right to say that there are many temples in Vientiane, but in my personal opinion, its something more than that. While I did not have the opportunity to travel far out from my hotel, but I was still able to explore the city and beyond.

Pha That Luang (above) is the national symbol of Laos and its really magnificent when you see it from afar. According to the guide, this is the most religious place in the country as they believe that the bones of Buddha are actually in this monument. But I personally thought, if the government were to do some conservation works for it, this symbol will look even better.

Wat Si Saket is the oldest temple in Vientiane. Some of the Buddha statues were damaged during the war and were stored in the storage room. There were hand painted wall murals in the temple building itself, unfortunately, cameras were not allowed and no pictures were taken. Sadly, the wall murals were slowly fading away and hopefully someone will preserve these nice murals. 

The Patuxai is located along Lane Xang Avenue, about 15 minutes drive from Lane Xang Hotel, the hotel which I was staying at. This is the Laos answer to Paris‘ Arc de Triomphe.

From the viewing deck, you will be able to see part of Vientiane. Look at the picture below and see if you are able to notice any tall buildings?

According to locals, the area around Patuxai gets crowded during weekends since they like to gather together for recreational activities.

A simple life in Vientiane

Oct
07

There is no tall buildings, no people is smart long sleeve shirts and long pants, no shopping mall. Welcome to Vientiane. This is a place where people leads a simple life.

This is somewhere which is different from Singapore. I will blog more when I return as I’m facing connection problem.