LAOS OCTOBER 2015 PART 1
So last weekend, we decided to do a spontaneous trip to Laos. I guess since it was close to Thailand and traveling there was way cheaper compared to the other countries we had in mind. And, none of us have ever been there so we were keen on experiencing new things.
Before we went there, we had absolutely no idea what Laos would be like. We also had no idea what Lao culture was like. I guess we thought it would be very similar to Thai culture. And yes, it really was. However, Laos was colonized by the French while Thailand has never ever been colonized.
We decided to take the overnight train to Nong Khai, which is the closest province in Thailand to Laos. We just bought our tickets in Bangkok Railway Station (Hua Lamphong station) on the day of our trip. The train departed at 8 PM. And the journey took about 11 hours. Our ticket was really cheap too. It was only for 688 Baht for the second class sleeper ticket. The train isn't too fancy but it was okay. They had a restaurant on the last passenger car that served some decent food as well.
We arrived in Nong Khai at around 7 AM. Then had our passports stamped. Next, we waited for the train to Thanaleng, which is the closest Laos station from Nong Khai. From there, we took a van to Vientiane city center. In Thanaleng, you need to get your passports stamped for arrival. And people need to get their visas done as well. Since I'm from an ASEAN country, no visa needed for me (yey!) But Europeans and Americans usually need to fill out some forms and pay the visa fee. I think it's around 1000 Baht or $30.
When we arrived, the van dropped us off near the Patuxai, also known as the Arc de Triomph of Laos so we took photos there and climbed to the top. It's only around seven floors. And definitely less exhausting than climbing up the real Arc de Triomph. I remember the elevator was out of order the last time I was there so I had to go all the way up by stairs. Admission fee was also cheap. It was less than a dollar.
Lunch at Benoni café. It's right beside Joma Bakery, which is pretty famous in Laos.
We wanted to go to Haw Phra Kaew. But, they were renovating it when we went there so we went to this other temple across, called Wat Si Saket.
|Wat Si Saket|
|That Dam (Black stupa)|
We spent 4 days in Laos. Two days in Vientiane, the capital. And another 2 days in Luang Prabang.
Stay tuned for part two of our Laos weekend on my next post!