Wonderer


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Trip Report : Laos (Oct 2011)

So a little late but here is the trip report of our jaunt to Laos.  Instead of a rather expensive flight to Vientiane , we decided

– Fly to Bangkok

– Transfer to a flight to Udon Thani

– Take a bus to get to the Laos border and to cross over into Vientiane.

We had some minor drama at the border. There was some confusion at the Thai border as to whether we (India passport holders) would get a Visa on Arrival at Laos. But we had done our homework, so we werent really worried, just that the Thai officials had to verify for themselves. It took a while. Clearly they dont get too many Indians crossing into Laos from here.

On the other side we took a lorry. Ummm.. yeah that was not a typo, just a lorry type taxi. Ok whatever. We wasked him to take us to Buddha park , in the oppposite direction to Vientiane. Buddha Park was ok. It is located right next to the Mekong River , and that was the best thing about it. There are a lot of statues and you can take a few pics , but you can give it a miss also.

We spent the day walking around Vientiane, and it was quite alright. The walkway by the river was breezy and we walked around to a few temples. Which we found aftre some persistence. But we didnt have a fixed agenda.

IMG_1997The next day we sat on a run down bus , to head to Vang Vieng. The bus was run down and we assumed it would be the local bus. But we were wrong. The bus was filled with tourists. Mostly French tourists.

Vang Vieng was very surreal. It is nestled in mear the limestone mountains (see pic) , with a river flowing by. There are dozens of cafes that play F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or South Park endlessly. Time seems to have no meaning in this place. And you can sit for hours on end eating drinking and watching these TV shows.

We stayed the night in Vang Vieng. There are lots of activities that you can do, though mostly related to be drinking. If you are young and adventurous, it could be fun. I felt too old , and maybe too boring for Vang Vieng.

The next day , we headed out again by bus to Luang Prabang.  We met many of the same people from the day before. And once again we all got into a rickety bus and started off. The drive from Vang vieng to Luang Prabang , was really long and got quite tiring after a point.

 

We reached pretty late in the evening, and the bus just dropped us off in the middle of nowehere, in pitch darkness. Not sure where we were and where to head, we simply started walking. Eventually a rickshaw found us, and we gave him the name of a street that had a few hotels on it. He took us there. Its in the heritage center of Luang Prabang , and from here it was smooth sailing.

IMG_2033

The next day we rented a scooter , and I rode all over town with it, with K in the back. It was super fun and convienient. We got to see quite a bit. I have no doubt that you can see most of it on foot , or bicycle too.

 

Here’s me on the scooter, sorry but I just loved it . and it was PINK.

 

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO world Heritage site. There is a place, a few shrines and temples and the center of the town is all pretty nice and worth seeing. Trips out of Luang Prabang , to the Plain of Jars and more. But we werent there too long and had to leave the next day,

All in all, I do recommend a trip to Laos .

 

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