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  1. #1
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Yet another Vientiane Visa Trip

    It takes almost 2 days from Nan for the journey.
    I spent the first night in Khon Kaen and moved on to Nong Kai in the morning.

    30 bt per person for a shared Tuk-tuk to the border from the bus-station.
    15 bt for the shuttle service over the bridge between the checkpoints, 20 bt during 'overtime' - evenings and weekends.

    Laos visa:
    $40 for 'merkins
    $35 for poms and a few other nationalities
    $30 for most other countries, including Krauts (because we are such nice people)

    Additional $1 if you haven't got a passport pic for the visa application, and another $1 for overtime. 10/20 bt Entry fee further down the string of little booths to call on, and we're in the People's Republic.

  2. #2
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    There is no need whatsoever to engage the services of the many 'agents' who are eager to help with the visa application for a fee.

    Anyway, first stop is the so-called Duty-free to stock up on essentials:

    Lao Kao - 20 bt, carton of cigs - 80 bt

  3. #3
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Aircon taxi 200bt, tuk-tuk 150bt for the 20 km journey into town. In an adventurous mood, I opted for the local public transport for 4.000 kip = 16 bt.
    Inside the bus:

    The road is being resurfaced, so it's a bit of a rough and dusty ride:

    Arriving at the bus terminal next to the Morning Market:

  4. #4
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    From the town center, it's still another ride to the main tourist area, by the river around Nam Phu fountain plaza.



    Even there, major road works:

  5. #5
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    Great Photos .

    Maybe stupid question how many visa runs do you do a year ?

    If your happy and settled in Thailand why dont you marry the gf and get a marriage visa

  6. #6
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breezer
    If your happy and settled in Thailand why dont you marry the gf and get a marriage visa
    Yeah, I know, my gf and my mates have been saying the same thing. I have never been married, I cannot make promises for the rest of my life - though as the expected remaining time is getting shorter, I am having second thoughts about it.

  7. #7
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    First I need a little refreshment:

    The duck fried noodles is tempting, but I go for a baguette, a speciality in former Indochina.



  8. #8
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    One of the few food shops with supplies for farangs, imported wines and spirits, local live yoghurt, cheeses, breads and so on. Lao coffee has a reputation and makes a great souvenir for anyone's Thai as well as farang friends:

  9. #9
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    The Samsenthai has aircon rooms with TV and mini-fridge for $10:



    Is the showerhead a bit close to the strip-light? Nah, it's almost 2 inches away:

    The place is a dump, but then, one of the few where you may entertain 'guests' in your room. Something useful, if you meet ladies like young Pai who'd want to see all your tattoes in private:

  10. #10
    Not an expat Fabian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by breezer
    If your happy and settled in Thailand why dont you marry the gf and get a marriage visa
    Yeah, I know, my gf and my mates have been saying the same thing. I have never been married, I cannot make promises for the rest of my life - though as the expected remaining time is getting shorter, I am having second thoughts about it.
    It's not necessarily for the rest of your life, you know?

  11. #11
    Member Fast Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post

    30 bt per person for a shared Tuk-tuk to the border from the bus-station.
    15 bt for the shuttle service over the bridge between the checkpoints, 20 bt during 'overtime' - evenings and weekends.
    It's probably worth mentioning that if you already have your visa sorted to enter Laos, you can take a bus from Nong Khai bus station all the way to Talat Sao bus station in Vientiane for 55bt (as i recall). This bus is also useful for the return trip. There is also one from Udon Thani, but i can't recall how much it costs, but safe to assume it's a little more.

  12. #12
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    The Laos Cultural Center, they do free evening concerts now and then, otherwise it's just a bit of pompous architecture to show off:

    The best Hotel in town, the Lao Plaza:

    Another one of the myriads of juice bars:

    There is a French presence in the former colonial capital still:

  13. #13
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    A bit of old-town charme:



    Much of the colonial heritage is sadly neglected:



  14. #14
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Old tree with spirit thingies:

    L'automobile capitaliste:

  15. #15
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Mekong water levels are low, it hasn't been raining much.
    On the left a new flash hotel something Palace, a busy nightspot when everything else is closed:

    The riverside is a nice spot early evening:

    Some basic, rustic local BBQ (at farang prices) and more on offer:
    Last edited by stroller; 14-06-2007 at 06:58 PM.

  16. #16
    gos
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    How much was the local rustic bbq

  17. #17
    gos
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    sorry I forgot to say great thread and pictures did pai like your tattoos

  18. #18
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gos
    How much was the local rustic bbq
    Can't remember now, still very affordable, it's nothing special, you just order what you want, fish, chickenlegs, ribs, etc.
    I went for an Indian, the long-established Nazim, since I won't get anything like it where I live:

    Tandoori marinated chicken with Koriander and mint leaves and a methi roti.
    Last edited by stroller; 14-06-2007 at 09:11 PM.

  19. #19
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    At the bar in the famous meeting point, Kop Chai Dieu or so, next to Nam Phu fountain:


    There are lots of new upmarket reastaurants, mostly French and Italian, and there even is a place serving this Tex-Mex shite now.

    I am the wrong guy to do any reviews.

  20. #20
    better looking than Ned
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    I injoyed many a beer there and good food. Did you find a place called the spirt bar.
    Next trip over we are hiring dirt bikes and heading off to some place that does quad bike trips

  21. #21
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rigger
    Did you find a place called the spirt bar.
    I had your recommendation in mind, but no, nor the Mongkol. Was that in town center or were you a bit outside?

  22. #22
    better looking than Ned
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    It was along the Mekong. Heading towards chang mai direction you follow main road a long the mekong then it becomes a small bumpy road just keep going about 3 mins by tuk tuk you will see the spirt house and about 5 min walk from there you will find the Mongkol both over look the mekong.

  23. #23
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    Thanks for the excellent trip report and pictures

  24. #24
    Kraut Koonta stroller's Avatar
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    Ok, now the important bit, the visa at the Thai Consulate:
    The foking tuk-tuks still wanted 200bt after negotiations for taking me there and back.
    So I rented a bicylce for 5k = 20bt for half a day. It's only a leisurely 15 minutes peddling, if you find your way, which I didn't at first.
    Up to this ugly monument which is based on the design of the arc de triumphe in Paris:

    After you passed it, take the Rue Singha on your right, the Thai consulate is towards the end of the road on your left:

    No need to get involved with the scum who try to sell you application forms and dodgy sevices outside the gate.
    You'll get the application form for free inside, of course.

    2 passport pics and photocopy of passport required, which is a drag if you haven't already got these. Now the bicycle comes handy: there is a shop just 3-400 meters back which is specialised at providing just that, at reasonable prices.

    For a single tourist visa, you should also have your plane-ticket out of Thailand on you, as well as 20k bt cash, in case they'll ask to see these.
    Visa fee: 1000bt - yes baht.
    Applications 8.30 - 12.00, collect next day 13.00 - 15.00
    Last edited by stroller; 15-06-2007 at 11:37 AM.

  25. #25
    Thailand Expat El Gibbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    At the bar in the famous meeting point, Kop Chai Dieu or so, next to Nam Phu fountain:


    There are lots of new upmarket reastaurants, mostly French and Italian, and there even is a place serving this Tex-Mex shite now.

    I am the wrong guy to do any reviews.
    The best bar in town as I recall. Normally packed with NGO and UN folks on the weekend. A great restaurant (French) around the corner to the left almost past the fountain.

    If you continue on beyond the rest. there is a street that runs away from the fountain. A great little guest house run by a Thai couple about 100 mtrs on the right. Clean rooms, aircon, TV and breaky for 450 baht. At least it was three yrs ago. No women though.

    E. G.
    "If you can't stand the answer --
    Don't ask the question!"

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