When I left you last week I was about to leave Cambodia and I can confirm a safe flight from Seam Reap Airport with Lao Airlines which stops briefly in Pakse to deal with immigration that takes about 30 minutes and relieves you of $35 US and 1 photo and you get back on the same plane for another short flight about 2 hours 20 mins in total to Vientiane in Laos.
I had been told about how bad Laos Airlines were but totally unfounded as the flights went without incident and a meal served on both legs were more than adequate and all for $200 US. Vientiane was a very modern city and the hotel Win that I stayed at did not keep up with the progress being made by the city and although comfortable the beds were hard and the Wifi spasmodic and you can do better for $23 US per night. From the airport is non negotiable $7 US anywhere in town in a good quality car. When I arrived it was a Sunday and although the festival Boun Awk Pansa was in place the place was fairly quiet and so a meal of Dumplings -Pop Chicken - Pork Rice and a Beer with three Americans I met on the way cost me $6 US and was excellent. A Tuk Tuk from 10 am - 3 pm cost 300,000 kip ($38 US) and again was not negotiable this was again split four ways as I was still sharing with my new found american friends. A journey in a TUK TUK to Buddah Park is something I do not recommend the roads are awful and every part of my body was aching after the 30 km trip there and back, but Buddha Park is well worth the $1 US entrance fee just splash out on a car or hire a bike.
A visit to the Golden Pagoda is probably on every to do list but to be honest don't bother to pay the 5,000 kip entrance fee as you can only get into the garden not inside the pagoda take your pictures outside and walk around the back and visit the other temple behind.
The next stop is locally known as The Arc de Triumphe as it is an exact replica with very good views of the city from the seventh floor if you pay the 5,000 kip to go up you must climb up internal stone steps to reach but worry not ladies floors 5 and six are selling trinkets and jewellery to give you an excuse to take a breather on the way up.
In the evening having collected another to the group, a young lady from South Vietnam, we all went out to see the festival which was very big and very load but in truth not really anything to get excited about especially as prizes for raffles consisted of - wait for it - Toilet Rolls and Toothpaste ?????
The highlight of the evening was a bar called The Wind West it was a bar that had live music and went on until midnight with a very good group called "B" apart from drinks being double usual at $3 US the atmosphere was good and I would recommend.