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The_Munchmaster

10 Days In The Kingdom Of Laos

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This is in reply to a request from Kamui.

 

It will probably be incredibly boring for most of you including those anticipating stories about rapant sex (there was none) however it is purely a factual account of my trip.

 

It may also take a while to complete the 10 days so bear with me as I will keep it to one thread but post one day at a time.

 

Day 1 (1 December 2012)

 

 

Sorry folks but this new format of the board is so fucked up that I cannot post text and pictures without spending hours trying to do it.

In the old format no probs but now it's a fucking nightmare. :banghead:

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I took some pix in the Kingdom of Laos back in 1974, but I don't have them here in Thailand.

 

post-98-0-88211000-1356323820_thumb.jpg

 

I haven't taken any in the Lao PDR yet. :hmmm:

 

p.s. Click "more reply options" and the photo attach comes up. It isn't any more complicated than the old format was. So post the report in text, and stick all the photos at the end. :dunno:

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But hey, think yourselves lucky, you've just been saved from the most boring trip report ever! :shakehead

 

Would love to read a boring and honest trip report from Laos. And I doubt it would be boring, the web is chalk full of bravado trip reports of conquest in SE Asia (not that there's anything wrong with that - but many, especially us males, have tendency towards exaggeration and occasional megalomania). Read several of your posts in the past and many have been helpful, grateful for that (eg,the rundown of pubs).

 

Use a photo storage site like Picasa or flickr, or even google+. After you upload the photos, you can grab the link and place it where you want in the report. The other advantage to this is that it will present the photos in a more web friendly file size which will load more quickly for viewers. Also - you can grab the link anytime you need. Try it out, let me know if you have questions.

 

But hope you reconsider posting. Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are places I'm interested to see. I kinda fucked up and got a single entry non-immigrant ED visa (opposed to multiple entry), so not sure what I need to do to leave the country without screwing things up - but I know it's feasible. Got my first trip to immi coming up soon, can hardly wait. :)

 

Don't quit, I think lots of folks want to read what you have to put down.

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JaiRai, thank you for your kind comments, you to Flasher.

 

I know exactly how to download pics (I use Photobucket btw) and post stuff, however since the board was reincarnated I have encountered many problems with pics and with posting although I won't elaborate now.

 

Anyway I will try again when I have less time.

 

Thanks

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JaiRai, thank you for your kind comments, you to Flasher.

 

I know exactly how to download pics (I use Photobucket btw) and post stuff, however since the board was reincarnated I have encountered many problems with pics and with posting although I won't elaborate now.

 

Anyway I will try again when I have less time.

 

Thanks

Looking forward to your report! :wave:

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OK, got a bit of time on my hands so I'll give this another shot.

 

Day 1 (1 December 2012)

 

Took TG570 from Swampy to Vientiane, arriving at about 1pm. You have to apply for a visa on arrival so filled out the form and took my place in the queue of about twenty. I was under the impression that you needed two photos and that the fee was US$30 however it turned out to be one photo and $35. Fortunately it was only one photo as I only had one anyway, although I did try and find a shop or photo booth around Soi 22 the previous day but no joy. Re. the fee if I’d been French or German it would have been US$30, but the rest of Europe was $35 except Sweden, which was US$41. USA was also $30 but Canada was $40 I think. There were three people manning the visa section, first a lady to collect the application form and photo, then a guy to presumably check the form and then a very attractive lady to collect the fee.

 

One thing I noticed when standing in the visa queue was that there were three or four officials hanging around where people were filling in their visa application forms and they were being very helpful to anyone who needed assistance and it was all done in a very friendly manner.

 

Coss had very kindly offered to pick me up at the airport and as I’d only met him once, about four years earlier, I wasn’t sure if I’d recognize him. No problem though, he recognized me first, which was fortunate as he’d lost a fair bit of weight since I first met him.

 

On Coss’ advise I changed some money at the airport, but not too much as he’d just changed some as well and the biggest notes they had left were Kip 20,000 (Baht 77). So I changed Baht 3,000 and received a big wad of notes amounting to Kip 780,000.

 

Coss then dropped me off at my hotel, the Malinamphu Guesthouse, which he’d recommended and told me he’d be back in a couple of hours.

 

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Doesn’t look much from the front but opened up at the back and had a large landscaped courtyard where breakfast was served, not that I ever made it up in time for breakfast!

 

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The rooms were basic and the beds just a little bit harder than I like but everything was clean and the location was perfect. A standard room with double bed was Baht 1,000 per night.

 

As promised Coss came back in a couple of hours and took me for a spin around town in his pick up and pointed out a few of the local sights, places that I might want to visit later.

 

All this driving around built up quite a thirst so it wasn’t long before we parked up by the Mekong river and went to what I will call the Sunset Bar, coz I never worked out what it’s name actually was, and it was apparently a good place to get a shot of the sunset over the Mekong river.

 

IMG_8571.jpg

 

So this is where I had my first Beer Lao, and tasty stuff it is to and oh so cheap at Kip 15K or Baht 58 for a large bottle. A good bar to, big but basic, with a decent live band, and definitely a locals hangout so plenty of pretty Laos girls there, although probably not of the take away variety.

 

Anyway six large bottles of Beer Lao (LBL) later and Coss suggested a bite to eat at a restaurant belonging to a friend of MLG (MLG was out of town for the week). So we drove through town and then hit the back streets, before eventually, after a few u turns, arriving at a fairly ramshackle structure on the side of the road.

 

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Coss is probably one of the few farangs to ever eat here so the sight of two farangs caused quite a stir and lots of sly glances and whispering from the ladies. I kinda of felt like when I first came to Thailand 25 years ago (when farangs were still a bit of a rareity) and I liked it.

 

Not sure if there was a menu but anyway Coss ordered the house special which was fried pork bits with some leaves, noodles, veggies and a sauce, the idea being that you put some fried pork, noodles and veggies in a bit of leaf, topped it with some sauce and then popped it in your gob.

 

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Have to say it was pretty tasty and the lady at the chopping board was chopping pork all night long. The pork was washed down with four more LBL and although not that late (Vientiane isn’t a late night town) we decided to call it a night.

 

However before day 1 was over Coss was busy planning day 2 of my visit and had been texting MLG’ best friend (MLGBF) and announced that he would pick me up at 8.30am and that we, accompanied by MLGBF and MLGBF’ sister, would be going to Lao Zoo, followed by a river lunch and finally a visit to a Buddha park. All sounded good to me apart from the bit about having to be ready by 8.30am!

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Munchie / Coss -

 

This post is the main reason I'm still on this forum.

 

Coss - I really would love to come up there for a few days. I'll PT (private topic) you to work out the details.

 

Cheers!

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