My time in Chiang Mai went by fast and soon I was on a plane heading to Bangkok once again. I was on my way to Laos to see Vientiane and get my tourist visa. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any direct flights from Chiang Mai and had to go to Bangkok first.
I spent one night at a hotel near the airport in Bangkok. The hotel’s best days were behind it but it was ok for a one-night layover. The hotel was situated in a local Thai area, the only tourists around were those staying at the hotel waiting for their flights.
It looks OK in the photos, but it was in need of a refurb. And since scratch and sniff photos haven’t been invented yet, you’ll just have to take my word that the room smelled of must and mildew.
My flight the next day was on Thai Smile airlines, the budget carrier for Thai Airways. Like budget carriers everywhere there was barely any legroom.
However, they did serve a decent meal on the hour-long flight.
They must not get a lot of visitors to Vientiane because the airport is really small. You do need a visa to enter Lao, but you get it right at immigration so you don’t have to do anything before entering the country.
I fill out the form, hand them a couple of passport size photos and the fee and within a couple minutes I’m sorted. I had several visa photos made in Bangkok before I left so I would have enough for my Lao and Thai visas.
I exchange some money into the local currency and become a millionaire for the first time. $100 USD will get you about 1 Million Lao Kip.
Hotel prices are cheap in Laos, but the selection of nicer places is limited. I booked at a place called Capitol Residence that cost about $30 USD a night. It was large hotel room with a kitchenette. A real bargain for the price. I thought it was a great place to stay – modern, nice and clean.
It was a little farther away from the sights than I usually like. Walking everywhere wouldn’t be fun, but there were several of the Lao style tuk-tuk stationed at the end of my street so transportation was not an issue.
On the roof of the hotel is a nice restaurant with views of the city, the Mekong River, and across it to Thailand. It’s an American themed restaurant and I ate there just about every night.
The walk from my hotel down to the Mekong was about 10 minutes. I took some photos by can’t seem to locate them, I’m afraid they are lost forever.