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Thread: Living in Laos

  1. #1
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    Living in Laos

    Hi all,

    i have just been offered a position working for a company in Vientiane Laos who specialize in maintenance of buildings / factorys / shopping centre's and so on.
    I think ive probably been quite fortunate as it doesnt seem all that easy to find a job in Laos??
    I have a couple of concerns though i wondered if people could assist with. My eldest son is the first.
    As you will know from my other threads on this site, my wife is a Laos national and had a little boy just 2 weeks old when i first met her. He does have development delays so at the age of 5 due to severe low muscle tone, cant talk or walk. Here in the UK he has a weekly Physio appointment and other things such as speech and language blah blah blah....
    Is there anything in Laos that can continue the work that he is having done here?? If not where is the nearest?? Udon?
    Would schools be able to assist if we were to pay for possibly an extra carer to get him around? I know there is money being spent modernising Vientiane so will there be a big international school and a decent hospital in the near future??
    Does Vientiane have people who i could possibly pay / employ to come to the home almost like a nanny to constantly work to improve his muscle tone.
    Second. My children are all under the age of 5. All boys, is this a viable option, are there many other expat familys with farang kids at a similar age??
    Any help greatly appreciated. If you think its a great idea please say, if you think im nuts likewise!

  2. #2
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    Ive got no idea Navy, but I wish you luck whatever you choose to do.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by astasinim
    Ive got no idea Navy, but I wish you luck whatever you choose to do.
    I know, last thing i want is my kids suffering because daddy wants to run off round the world. Have to make sure this is perfect. Cheers though matey!

  4. #4
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    Not yet mate, expats there fly to bangkok for treatment. You could get a carer, though.

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    I'd worry about quick and high quality healthcare in Laos, if I lived there. Seems like a way off to me, despite all the development going on there.

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    Laotians seem to cone to Udon for healthcare, sorry nearly caught my self putting in "quality health care"

  7. #7
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    There is a good physiotherapist at the French Embassy clinic just off Khou Vieng. Health care here is much better than it used to be. We also have a couple of very good dentists now as well. Those posters who knock the health care are talking about the situation 3 years ago. I suspect they don't live here. PM me if you wish.

  8. #8
    I am in Jail

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    Have you tried asking your new employers ?


    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    My children are all under the age of 5. All boys
    Their education will take a dip I would imagine


    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    will there be a big international school
    if there is, it won't be cheap

  9. #9
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    Here's a list of schools including international in Laos.
    It might be worth sending them an email to ask about the care and physio for your son also

    Choosing A School In Vientiane

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vientianeboy
    Those posters who knock the health care are talking about the situation 3 years ago. I suspect they don't live here.
    No I don't. I wasn't speaking from any experience, just saying, compared to Thailand, I would worry about health care if I was living there. But maybe things are much better now. What are the hospitals like?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Vientianeboy
    Those posters who knock the health care are talking about the situation 3 years ago. I suspect they don't live here.
    No I don't. I wasn't speaking from any experience, just saying, compared to Thailand, I would worry about health care if I was living there. But maybe things are much better now. What are the hospitals like?
    A couple of the hospitals are quite good. Mahosot has an international clinic. If I had something really serious though that required major surgery, I would head for Udon Thani or Bkk.

    Regarding international schools, there are a couple of decent ones. VIS which is very expensive, and Kiettisack which lacks the previous school's facilities, but does offer good quality education at a fraction of the cost.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwang
    Have you tried asking your new employers ?


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    My children are all under the age of 5. All boys
    Their education will take a dip I would imagine


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    will there be a big international school
    if there is, it won't be cheap
    Hi, and thanks for the reply. All schooling is being covered as part of the package. I am concerned how much of a dip it would take.
    The employers have told me its all fine, its great! its a dream come true, but they would, wouldnt they!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vientianeboy
    A couple of the hospitals are quite good. Mahosot has an international clinic. If I had something really serious though that required major surgery, I would head for Udon Thani or Bkk.

    Regarding international schools, there are a couple of decent ones. VIS which is very expensive, and Kiettisack which lacks the previous school's facilities, but does offer good quality education at a fraction of the cost.
    The schooling is being covered by employers for my twins, they will cover for the eldest but not for his extra needs. The wage is good so i can cover it.

    The answers are far more positive that i thought. It would be great for my mrs to see the aunt and family again, and no doubt they will be turning up begging lol!

  14. #14
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    I guessed Udon would be the best bet. Thats ok, i dont mind that too much. Where i live now is a 20 mile drive to a half decent hospital so not a huge difference.
    Is there much of an expat community with young kids??
    The Physio mentioned sounds interesting too.

  15. #15
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    Yes there is an expat community. You can also join groups such as ANZBA - Aust NZ Business association, and WIG, Womens' International Group.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    Here in the UK he has a weekly Physio appointment and other things such
    Facilities are getting better in Vientiane, but something very specialized might or probably would not be available yet. You could check with the hospitals giving the specific details of what your son requires. Udon is an option too.

    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    Would schools be able to assist if we were to pay for possibly an extra carer to get him around?
    Can't see why not.

    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    Does Vientiane have people who i could possibly pay / employ to come to the home almost like a nanny to constantly work to improve his muscle tone.
    Depends on how specialized care he would require. I would imagine (not knowing), kind of nanny with basics, very much possible. Bit more advanced, with luck you could find one. 'Nanny' could be anything from daily appt to live-in - would constant care, be a big improvement compared to weekly appointment? You could also try to find skilled one from Thailand (Laotian or Thai) who would be willing to move to Vientiane.

    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977
    All schooling is being covered as part of the package. I am concerned how much of a dip it would take.
    Would take a dip, but on the other hand, living in different countries as a child might be a very good experience for life.

    How long contract would you have, could you return to UK if it did not work out for you in Laos?

    Good luck, whatever you do.

  17. #17
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    Schooling "Would take a dip".
    Can you explain why? You DO know that VIS offers the IB and Kiettisack offers the IGCSE and A & AS levels. These are all externally set and marked. Teachers are as qualified as in Thailand. So why would schooling take a "dip"?

  18. #18
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    Right further to last................

    The company no longer is willing to pay for schooling. I have looked and found 3 int schools, AIS, VIS, and KIS.

    From reviewing all 3 VIS looks by far the best, however at $14000 a year as they get older, i will become un-affordable for all 3 kids.
    KIS looks the best of the rest. Does anyone have any experience of this school. The fees are the same as AIS at $1600 / $1800 for our kids with a discount on 2 of them.

    Ok next is housing, ive been told to look for something upto $1000 however i can put towards this. I am seeing pretty huge differences between a $1000 and $2000.

    What are the better areas to head for with young kids?? NGO houses?

    What extra bills on top of gas and elec should i expect.
    Is there a housing tax?
    What are water rates, stuff through the taps not bottled! lol!
    What will i pay for a gardner once a week?
    What should i expect to pay in elec / gas charges for a family of 5 in a 3/4 bed house with aircon running non stop! (at first at least).

    Just so i have a basic idea what i need to budget with.

    If we wanted to live a Western life what would we pay in food with 1 smoker. No alcohol.

    Riggghhhhtttttt............ Further to all that, i do have a pension here in the UK, if i wanted to live for 2/3 years before the kids need to go to school in Laos, how could i, if i didnt have the job. Its probably not possible, but i fancy it for a couple of years and my job here would still be there when i came back.
    We would be on a very very tight budget, of around $1200 a month. Schooling would be not relivent as they would still be too young, and could be home schooled. I might need a carer now and then just for a break.
    I have seen houses at $300 / $400 in Vientaine or just outside.
    With all the bills and food costs could it be done with a house at $400.
    Not expecting to live like kings but just live and have a fairly native lifestyle. I just feel if we dont do it now, we may never.

  19. #19
    Laos Expat
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    God thats alot, basically i have 2 options,

    1 Work and live well but kind of defeating the whole reason for doing it in the first place as il be at work.

    2 Live pretty tight and try to manage on limited funds. However being at home and spending time with the kids.

    Can i get a long term visa????? Or would me and the 2 boys who are non laos have to do visa runs???

    HELP

  20. #20
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    Gidday navy doubs1977
    ive been living in Vientiane nearly seven years now and can answer some of your questions
    Firstly my son has been going to KIS for 2 years now he is half Lao half Aussie and just turning 5 they teach the kids english in the morning and Lao in the afternoon , he gets plenty of practice in Lao from his mum but his english is really coming along since going to KIS , in september his 2 year old brother will join him , no complaints from me .
    as far as housing goes it really depends on where you want to be in vientiane but i find good Houses can be had for about $700 to $1000 Lao land owners usually want 6 or 12 months rent upfront so try to negotiate a lesser starting term of say 3 months , because guaranteed if you pay the 12 months you will see something better , so take your time at first even if it means living in a hotel/guestthouse for a while, as far as a visa goes your employer should be organizing a 12 month work permit for you , Electricity at my place runs about 1 million monthly but i have 5 aircons , When you need gas just call and a bloke on a scooter will deliver a bottle , water from the tap seems cheap my bill is usually about 40 000 kip a month, Dont worry to much about food expenses eating out is also cheap and a lot of variety, if you really cant do without farang food then that can be expensive, steaks and lamb etc all available in quite a few minimarts not cheap but not extortionate either, ive bought local beef from the market and more often than not its not to bad , If you smoke a pack costs about 12 000 kip same for a big beerlao, so if you werent a drinker before nows your chance,

  21. #21
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    "Does anyone have any experience of this school"

    yes, a lot actually - more than BLD little does he know, lol. I suggest you approach the Aussie Deputy Director who is excellent and knows what he is talking about. Or you can PM me if you like.

    1000 pm for a house is quite a lot. You can pick up a very nice place for 700 as BLD says.
    I agree with the costs quoted by BLD except he is smoking western cigarettes, You can get Lao cigarettes for 4000 Kip. Electricity is about 850,000 K pm for us and we use air quite a lot.

    Even eating out western food is not that expensive. The missus and I go out quite a lot. For example one budget place, Dong Deaune, has really nice meals for around 40,000 Kip. They allow you to byo, but they did have an excellent Petit Chablis for 120,000. Sorry BLD I drank the last one!
    Bistro 21 has classier and more expensive food. An 800g Rib roast for 2, for example, costs 450,000 Kip. Again Phillipe allows you to BYO

    As BLD says, you would get a 1 yr visa. Your wife and kids would be on that visa and would therefore not need to do visa runs.

    BLD in which village do you live? You are paying too much for your beer. we get it at 8000 K
    Last edited by Vientianeboy; 04-08-2012 at 05:18 PM.

  22. #22
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks again for the replys.

    That answers alot so a huge help. It is something i really want to do and as the kids are at a young age now might be the time.

    What if i wasnt to work, ive had a slight change of heart over the last few days (ever since they withdrew the schooling payments, left a nasty taste) and now fancy just staying for maybe 2 years, but would have really limited funds. 600 about $900.
    Ive seen 2/3 bed house at $400 which look ok ish?? That would be pretty much half of our money gone then it looks like 850000 kip is about $100? so were now down to $400. could we live on that? Im sure family would contribute to any disasters, but on a day to day basis could a family of 5 live on $400 ish? Could i get a year long visa?? If not how can i stay for 2 years??

    I may still take the job, but when promised something and its taken away im not that please so far.

    Would i be able to find work when in Laos possibly?? I dont care what im doing and money is not a priority, just want a couple of years before the kids start school!

  23. #23
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    Would anyone know of a good website or good place to start looking for other jobs??

    I have a Degree in Mechanical engineering with a nuclear bias?> Anything i could do with that??

    Lots are saying teaching? Dont desperatly fancy that.

    Would love to do the 2 years, not working on the $900. Then come back. Can i just find little bits of work to top up my money by $300 ish a month?

  24. #24
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    There's a Laos expats group on LinkedIn.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by navydoubs1977 View Post
    Would anyone know of a good website or good place to start looking for other jobs??

    I have a Degree in Mechanical engineering with a nuclear bias?> Anything i could do with that??

    Lots are saying teaching? Dont desperatly fancy that.

    Would love to do the 2 years, not working on the $900. Then come back. Can i just find little bits of work to top up my money by $300 ish a month?
    Take the job. You'll struggle if you don't as you can't just do a bit of casual labouring like you can in the UK.

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