Indochina: Vientiane, Laos

“folks we need to wake up early to see the sunrise in Mekong”
Good thing we did!


Day 04
0600: Biking around Vientiane
We are fascinated by the structure of the city and the Mekong itself. So yeah, we went back to the same spot, park and biked all the way up north of the city to see how everyone starts their day in Laos. They’re so laid back still! I think their day starts at 08:00 am! I love this country, you don’t need to stress yourself over to your day jobs!

Goofing out, we were trying to imitate South Korea's Winter Sonata

Tip: Rent a bike in the famous biking rental in town – PVO Hostel!. Which is just beside our Hotel, Mali Namphu (click for another review)? You just have to leave your passport, or any valuable items. Rental fee is only Php 80.00 the whole day!

0900: Pha That Luang Complex
As a normal tourist, we checked everything out. I personally thought that this temple is only one, but this is actually composed of collective temples in the complex! So much culture and tourist stuffs are happening in the complex, it is well placed yet not crowded at all. I don’t know maybe because we came here in the middle of the week and maybe tourists fluctuate on weekends.


Reunited with Rens and Claire once again! Along passing the border, we never got the chance to talk again, so we’re glad that we saw them one last time before we left the country. Claire’s so jealous about our biking around tour! Haha.



1200: That rich schoolmate (lol)
One of our college school mates are in the country too! I’m so surprised that my schoolmates before are now around the world. So this is her 2nd time (?) in Laos and she’s pretty accustomed about the culture – so she had to take us on a treat too. Thanks ayien!


1300: Morning Market
You can never miss a cheap souvenir in their local market. So we had to take a look in their market and see what’s up for us that we can take home as a remembrance. Ayien made us the tour because she know Laotian!

An item that's being sold in Vientiane in their local market


Tips: 
1. So in our street of residence, after PVO Hostel where you can rent a bicycle, there’s a tour company that helps us travel to train station from Nong Khai, Thailand to Bangkok. So we had it booked.
2. However, most of the hostels are equipped with tours. You better ask your hotel/hostel about it and it’s your call if you’re gonna take your hotel’s booking or third party. I’d say, it’ll boil down to price.


1500 - 1700: Tha Na Leng
So we had to leave for the last leg of our tour in Indochina. Just like what we had in Vietnam, we had to ride a mini van to Tha Na Leng and a mini train to Nong Khai, Thailand. The amazing part is, they are just 5 minutes away. I like that, you can be in 2 nations in just minutes and they are just separated by river and grass fields! The sunset at that time was also awesome!


So we played UNO cards anywhere, While waiting for the border to arrive, we killed our time by playing UNO cards.

1800: Nong Khai
Oh the excitement of the people of Thailand and the immigration office. I decided not to open my camera and take shots though I really wanted too because of the scenery and the documentation of the trip. The immigration officers were way too different in this border because they are smiling and taking mobile phone pictures of us --- the incoming tourists.

Tips:
1. Check and clarify your ticket. We felt that we were scammed in our ticket, we booked for a class B train to Bangkok but we got the ordinary and fanned train. So we had to talk to train administration and ask to have us transferred to what we paid. We were transferred but have to pay THB 100. (fair enough I think. They were also sympathetic and helpful)
2. Have friends. We met a South African traveler and a Thai too! This Thai was very helpful to us in explaining our route, the Thai culture and politics. He was also very interested in the Filipino culture.






Wrapping up this year of my travel with Vientiane, Laos. I love its simplicity and beauty and all about its developing country vibe. There are truly many things to see that the world misses. At the same time, if this country is brought to attention, people might abuse it and it will become another story of misbehaving humans and it's bad tourist abusive attitude. 

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