We travel down to Vientianne by bus a journey that takes most of the day, barrelling down the mountains and back to the Mekong valley. As we go I start to pick up on something I find rather strange. For me when I travel the journey is often as important as the destination and I like to look out of the window watching the world go by, gathering up mental snapshots of landscapes,places and people as we pass them. It gives scale and connectedness to the trip. This is not the case for most of the young backpackers who are by far the majority of the passengers on our bus. They hunker down eyes closed and even curtains drawn, plugged into i-pods shutting out the world as much as possible. I'm at a loss as to why they are here.
Yientianne is pretty much what I expected, hot, noisy, crowded and dusty, but here and there tranquillity can be found. This fountain, though slap bang in the centre, is one place.