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  1. #26
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    sorry katie,forgot to give you a luigie. incoming

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrylad66
    sorry katie,forgot to give you a luigie.
    do you use tongues for that?

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurgen View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by barrylad66
    sorry katie,forgot to give you a luigie.
    do you use tongues for that?
    that will depend on the situation

  4. #29
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    ^I'm almost afraid to ask: what is a luigie?

    Thanks all for the greens.

    Anyway, the next day, I walked to the mighty Mekong and took pics. It was very dry (not surprising, because of the present El Nino). BLD said that during rainy season, this area would be filled with water. He also said that those palm trees were newly planted, just in time for Pi Mai.



    They also built those Buddha scuptures and temples in time for the festival.

  5. #30
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    It was very hot in Vientiane, reached 42-43 C. Even though I'm a tropical girl, I'm only used to 36 or 37 C (in PI), so the heat at midday was very draining for me. SInce Laos is landlocked (as well as N. Thailand), there were no sea breezes for cooling. It's a good thing that I live in an archipelago where there are sea breezes (but yeah, we get our share of typhoons & earthquakes).

    Anyway, I like seeing what people ate in their travels, esp. if it's local food. So I'll post my food pics too. This was my lunch: stir fried veggies with chicken (in oyster sauce, I think).


    This was my dinner: crispy fried noodles with chicken, kale & other veggies.

  6. #31
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    After dinner, I strolled around the night market. Saw the usual stuff, but it was still interesting. Saw a lot of pretty Lao girls too!


    Nice clothes... seller not included.


    I did buy some small trinkets and a pair of those loose, elephant-print pants/trousers that's common among Kao San Rd ppl. I found out why those trousers are liked so much by backpackers - loose, cotton, dries easily, and easy to use in squat toilets! lol

  7. #32
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    This was breakfast at my Vientiane GH (included in the room price). I've found that hostel/GH brekkies differ - some w/ fruit, some w/o. Some with jam, some w/o. Some are self-service, while in some, you have to order then they prepare it for you.



    After breakfast, I checked out and went to the bus station near Talat Sao. Those are the 2 German backpackers. Turned out that we were all riding the same bus to Udon Thani and we all stayed in the same GH.


  8. #33
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    I found Vientiane very quiet as a capital - a big change from the skyscrapers of KL. I also felt very safe roaming the streets at night; I think crime rates are low? It was still very provincial (for me). The airport was small, and only a few km after the city center, there were ricefields and other farms. The Talat Sao mall was closed already when I passed by around 6:30 pm, which was unusual for me (that a mall closed too early). BLD said that there's no Western food franchise - no McD, KFC, Starbucks or Pizza Hut. There's only a Thai food chain (forgot the name). It was quite refreshing.

    Anyway, here are some scenes at the VTE bus station.



  9. #34
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    The bus left the terminal late (by ~1 hr), because of Songkran traffic. So we all boarded the bus, then went to the Thai-Lao friendship bridge to be stamped out of Laos. Here's the Lao immigration queue.

  10. #35
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    Then we boarded the bus again, crossed the river, then went down again, this time to be stamped into Thailand. Lots of people at the borders because of Songkran.


    The ppl on the left side are exiting Th, the ones on the right side are entering Th. I think these are the people who walked or have their own vehicles, and not those who rode on the International buses.

  11. #36
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    Fast forward to my day of travel across the northern Nakhon Nowheres in Th. At the Tak bus station, I saw these soldiers. I don't know if they're en route to their homes for the holidays, or to their camp.


    I also saw this hill tribe woman (well, I think she was). I think she had a very interesting face, but she seemed to be in pain, and I wondered why. I photographed her stealthily; I was inside the minibus already and I used the zoom on my cam.

  12. #37
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    Tak bus terminal


    Another one of those floral Songkran shirts. Most stores were closed due to the festival.

  13. #38
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    This was the decor on the dashboard of the minibus from Tak to Mae Sot. I found it quaint in a "same-same but diff" way. In PI, there would be sampaguita flowers (Jasminium sambac) around the mirror, and an image of Jesus or Mary. In Th, there are similar flowers and an image of Buddha instead.

  14. #39
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    Fast forward again to the day of my crossing the Myanmar border. (Yay for some! lol)

    Here are the views at the vicinity of the Mae Sot border.


    This is the taxi which brought me from the GH to the border.

  15. #40
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    There's always these guys on standby...


    In case people needed to buy foodstuff for the journey...

  16. #41
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    I had to get off the taxi and be stamped out of Th here...


    During the stamping process, a Th official asked me if I had a visa for Myanmar. I said I didn't need one, because of ASEAN. He was surprised - seems he didn't know that other ASEAN nationalities can enter Myanmar visa-free. I think Thais can only enter Myanmar without visa by air.

    Anyway, after being stamped out of Th, I had to walk to the Thai-Myanmar friendship bridge, when I saw this overloaded vehicle.

  17. #42
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    Walking along the Thai-Myanmar friendship bridge and crossing the Moei river.

    This is still on the Thai side


    Thai immigration - Tak

  18. #43
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    Walking along the Friendship bridge. Since it was Songkran/Thingyan, there were a lot of Burmese people crossing the border and going home to their provinces, usually with large bags of goodies.



    Saw some beggars along the bridge


    Saw this signboard against the drug menace

  19. #44
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    I was surprised to see some food stalls and plastic chairs/tables down there


    I also saw some people crossing the river via boat. Is this legal, since they didn't go through the stamping process on both sides???

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by katie23
    Coca Cola, which turned out to be Est Cola
    I actually prefer the stuff to coke- cheaper too. More of a nutmeg flavor touch. I'm no big cola fan, but I suppose you've got to mix something with your whiskey.

    Nice thread kate, looking forward to Myanmar. Thanks for sharing.

    Is this legal
    Kinda grey area- but it goes on plenty in border regions. Khongjiam on the Mekhong in Ubon Province is loaded with Laos workers- in restaurants, market traders, OK's etc. They seem to just come and go as they please, there is a regular flow of boats crossing the river, including a regular ferry longtail boat. No immigration in sight.
    probes Aliens

  21. #46
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    By the time I was near the end of the bridge, the "boaters" had also crossed the river.


    When I was going through the pics on my comp after the trip, it's when I noticed that there was so much trash on the Burmese side of the river. Sad...

  22. #47
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    @sabang - I found the Est cola bland, maybe bcos I'm used to the taste of Coca cola. I'm not a big fan of cola either, but during this trip, I drank cola/soda just to break the monotony of bottled water. Thanks for the info re: the "boaters".

  23. #48
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    A few meters onwards, I saw these monks.


    The ppl waved me to go farther on for stamping. I wasn't stamped in the area where there's a man wearing dark blue shirt. I was told to enter an office farther on (not just a window) near where those monks are.


    As I've said in the earlier thread, I was interviewed by the immi officer. So far, it's the longest interview that I've had re: entry into a country. A tout there asked if I had a visa, and I had my ready answer. It's good that the immi officer knew the rules too. He interviewed me about my purpose & length of stay, etc. He also said that I was "very bootiful" and said that the other officer was still single. lol. The whole incident made me a bit uncomfortable, but I smiled and acted nice, since they had my passport. I think they're not used to other Asean ppl entering through that border, just mostly Westerners.

  24. #49
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    This is M, the tout who "helped" me. After my passport was returned, M walked with me and asked where I would go to. He seemed to have the protection/approval of the immi officers, since they also said that M was single and a good singer. lol

    So anyway, I told M that I needed a ride to get to Mawlamyine, but that I wanted to look around a bit and see a market. So M led me to some side streets and I took pics of the small day market.



  25. #50
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    Mingalabar! Mingalabar is the equivalent of Hello.
    Thank you is "che su ti ma deh" (or sounded like that). You can also say "che su peh".

    I knew that I was in Myanmar already, since I saw these ppl with thanaka cream on their faces. The cream acts as a sunblock.



    From wikipedia: Thanaka cream is made by grinding the bark, wood or roots of a thanaka tree with a small amount of water on a circular slab which has a channel round the rim for water to drain into.

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