Day 293 – COPE centre in Vientiane

In the morning, we booked into a nicer hostel, well what we thought would be a nicer hostel, but more about that later.

For breakfast, we headed over to the Joma Bakery Cafe. We had been to the posh western cafe in Luang Prabang, and ordered the same flapjack/porridge block thing which has had to pour milk over. It was delicious and you can’t help but feel slightly guilty for really enjoying the western food in a SE Asian country.

The breakfast at the Joma Bakery Cafe

The breakfast at the Joma Bakery Cafe

After breakfast, we headed over to COPE, Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise. The centre is for people who have lost limbs resulting from unexploded bombs left over from the war in Vietnam.

The centre has a small museum which explains the situation and how Laos beared the brunt of the American bombing with many devices landing in Laos which have remained unexploded since.

Locals have since been looking for the devices so they can sell on the metal for scrap.

Parts of bombs at COPE

Parts of bombs at COPE

As well as being a visitor centre, people from all around the county come for prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation.

The statue at COPE

The statue at COPE

Sign at COPE made from old prosthetic legs and arms

Sign at COPE made from old prosthetic legs and arms

It was a really interesting place to visit and provided some insight into one of the many problems in Laos.

We headed back to the hostel and then onto the night market which pops up alongside the river on most nights.

Tuk Tuk anyone?

Tuk Tuk anyone?

We headed over to a restaurant which had some really good fresh spring rolls and a big bowl of noodles.

Fresh spring rolls

Fresh spring rolls

Big bowl of noodles

Big bowl of noodles

Back at the hostel, we were looking forward to a good night’s sleep but soon after being in bed, I felt a scratch, checking I had been bitten. A couple of minutes later another one, BED BUGS!!!! erghhh. Worst of all John was ok, no bites, nothing. We tried to find the owner to try and move rooms but couldn’t see anyone. It was around 1 in the morning so we wouldn’t have been able to move hostel.

It was a long night and at the crack of dawn, we packed up our stuff and left.

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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