Posts tagged: Vientianne

Apr 02 2010

Vientianne Day 1, Laos

It has been 8 months since I started my trip in August 2nd last year to Bogota, Colombia. Laos is the 41st country on this trip and probably will be the last country in South East Asia before I head back to Vietnam then go up north to China.

Vientienne is the capital of Laos and is also the biggest city in Laos with a population of around 300,000. Laos is still a poor country and is ruled by a communist government. The country was embroiled in a civil war between the Royal Lao government and the communist Pathet Laos from 1950 until 1975. Finally with the support of North Vietnam, the Pathet Laos managed to control the country. Subsistence agriculture accounts for the majority of jobs in the country.

Between 1964 and 1973, over 260 million bombs were dropped by the US in Laos. This is more than what was dropped during the whole of World War II.

Photos around the city

Rented a bicycle (10,000 Kip~USD$1.2) for the day.

Patuxay was built on the main north south avenue in the city, symbolizing the struggle of independence.

Laos Museum

However the museum was closed during lunch time so just managed to circle around the museum and took some photos of old military stuffs.

Assembly Hall. A communist flag flying right beside the Laos flag.

Hwa Pra Kaew

Presidential Place

Wat Si Muang

Took an overnight bus at 8pm to Luang Prabang (150,000 Kip~USD$18).

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Somehow the bus had a mechanical problem and the mechanic took 3 hours to fix it.

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Apr 01 2010

Vientianne, Laos

We changed to a different bus at 1.30 am in the morning to Vinh and then got on another bus at 2am towards Laos.

The bus arrived at the border around 4am and everyone waited

until 7am when the border opens.

The Vietnamese side

The custom officials at the Vietnamese side wanted USD$1 for the border crossing. Since everyone paid so I just went along. I think the USD$1 is a bribe and not an exit tax.

Crossed the border to the Laos side

The whole border crossing took 2 hours for everyone.

The weather in Laos is hot and dry. The bus doesn’t have air condition and the window can’t be opened so it’s pretty stuffy inside. Bags of rices and boxes were stacked all over bus.

The bus stopped a couple of times, dropping of goods.

After a long and torturous ride, finally arrived at Vientienne at 4.30pm after a 23 hours bus ride.

Got on a tuk-tuk (USD$1) to the city center which is another 13km away with 4 other guys from Japan and Korea.

Found Orchid guesthouse to have a better deal after searching around. Cramped into a room together (5000 Kip~USD$6 per person, USD$1~8420Kip)

and this felt like a high school trip with 4 guys in a room.

Orchid guesthouse is just across the Mekong river and there were some open air food stalls beside the river. Had sticky rice for dinner (26,000 Kip~USD$3) with my new roomates.

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