Solo Overland Backpacking Trip to Thailand and Laos – Part 25: Night Market

Previously: Part 24: And the Cycling Continues

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Still Day 6: Saturday, 31 August 2013

That evening, my feeling was somehow different. I knew that tonight would be my final night in Vientiane. Although people said that there was nothing much to see and to do in Vientiane, I beg to differ. I saw a lot of things; how the people lives, how they developed the city, how they go through their everyday life and so on and so forth.

Petang tu, perasaan aku agak berbeza. Aku tahu, malam ni akan jadi malam terakhir aku di bumi Vientiane. Walaupun orang kata tak banyak benda boleh dibuat atau dilihat di Vientiane, tapi aku tak rasa macam tu. Aku rasa seronok dapat tengok macam mana orang kat sini hidup, macam mana pembangunannya, macam mana penduduk menjalani kehidupan sehari-harian.

The riverside in the evening.

After spending some time at the Patuxai people-watching, Martin, Emma and I decided to walk to the riverside and blended in with the locals who swarmed the place for various activities. There were people jogging, cycling, selling things, picnicking and various other activities which made the place looks liveable. We chatted, talked about our travel journeys and exchanged currencies whilst watching the Mekong River which cut this part of land with Nong Khai, Thailand on the other side of the riverbank.

Lepas lepak di Patuxai, aku, Martin dan Emma buat keputusan untuk berjalan kaki ke kawasan tebing sungai dan tengok penduduk tempatan yang melepak di situ. Ramai penduduk tempatan yang duduk di kawasan tebing sungai ni. Ada yang jogging, kayuh basikal, jual barang, berkelah dan macam-macam lagi aktiviti. Nampak hidup sangat di sini. Bagi kami bertiga, kami duduk berbual tentang perjalanan kami setakat ni dan bertukar-tukar matawang Ringgit Malaysia dan Euro sambil melihat Sungai Mekong yang memisahkan Vientiane dan Nong Khai.

The Mekong River, separating Laos and Thailand.

Before dusk, we decided to come again to the riverside since there will be a night market every single night at the riverside. We parted and promised to meet back here at 7.00 pm. I went back to the hostel, returned my rental bicycle and went to the bathroom to clean myself up and to perform my ablution. Soon after performing my obligation, I was back at the riverside on foot.

Sebelum senja, kami bercadang nak ke sini lagi sebab setiap malam ada pasar malam. Kami berpisah dan berjanji untuk jumpa kembali dalam jam 7.00 malam. Aku kembali ke guesthouse, pulangkan basikal sewa dan bergegas untuk mandi dan solat. Tak lama kemudian, aku kembali ke kawasan riverside dengan berjalan kaki.

The Mekong Riverside night market.

The night market was nothing spectacular, especially with the abundance of night markets in Malaysia. So, we just walked pass one shop to the other until the end of the road. It was one long night market and I would say one of the biggest night market that I have ever been to. They sell handicrafts, t-shirts, souvenirs as well as street food and drinks. Since there was nothing to buy, we went for dinner, continued our conversation from one issue to another before saying goodbye and head back to our respective hostels. Since it would be our final night in Vientiane (Emma and Martin were leaving too), we promised to meet up at their hostel at 11.00 am the next day.

Pasar malam di sini tak ada apa yang istimewa bagi aku. Mungkin sebab dah terbiasa ada banyak pasar malam kat Malaysia. Cuma, pasar malam di sini sangat panjang dan mungkin salah satu yang terbesar yang pernah aku pergi. Ada penjual yang jual t-shirt, cenderamata, makanan dan minuman. Sebab tak ada apa yang kami nak beli, kami terus ke restoran untuk makan malam. Kami sambung berbual sambil makan malam, dari satu isu ke satu isu yang lain. Bila malam dah lewat, kami pun berpisah dan pulang ke hostel masing-masing. Malam ni ialah malam terakhir untuk kami bertiga di Vientiane, dan kami berjanji untuk bertemu semula pukul 11.00 pagi esok di hotel Martin dan Emma.

Have you been to any night market in any part of the world? Do you think it is unique?

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To be continued – Part 26

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Vientiane biggest night market is open daily and is held at the riverside.

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