Vientiane feels more like a slightly large and modern village than a nation's capital. In spite of it's sizable (relatively speaking, here) population of two hundred some thousand inhabitants, the city retains that pleasant, poky vibe we've come to identify as iconically Laotian.
There is, thankfully, not much to do here in terms of sites and attractions. Or maybe we just no longer feel the need to see all the wats and silk weaving factories and sprawling, crowded, colorful markets. We are content to get work done, go for walks along the river, eat crumbly, buttery pastries from French bakeries, and scarf down spicy enchiladas from the Mexican restaurant down the street.
Unlike almost every other time we've parted ways, this time we don't know when we'll see them again. It will feel so strange to continue traveling in southeast Asia, knowing that our friends, who have become such a big part of our time here, are no longer in the same part of the world. We'll just have to plan a time to go see them!
Though it's the capital city of Laos, Vientiane isn't really big on nightlife, and most places are closed before 10PM. One evening, when looking for a midnight snack, we had to search high and low for somewhere open. We were about to give up when we stumbled upon what seemed to be the only bar open in the entire city. After buying a few roti crepes from the food seller stationed outside, we walked back to our fancy spa-like hotel and headed to bed.