I still remember when my Editor, Jeremy, handed me the copies of brochures and maps about Laos that he had gotten when attending a conference in Laos earlier, I was still not keen to head to Laos ; well my mind was sold to more cliche destinations such as Angkor Wat and the highland of Sapa. Plus, if my team was already, they probably have covered the area eh?
Little that I know, my adventure this time revolved all in Laos -from meeting great people, great food to gruby-near dead-road condition. Laos left a big impact on me and probably on my future undertakings. Laos took my hand and let me in and hold me from leaving, farewell wasn’t easy. I’ll always look back and remember all those faces who sincerely said “Sabaidee” ( Hello in Laos) to me.
|A lady who still has family that depend on her -shuffling back and forth to serve passenger.|
It seems like crossing overland from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai then to Bangkok via train has became more of a habit or routine every time I backpack to Thailand. Come to think of it, I have never flew in or out from South East Asia country yet except Indonesia.
After arriving, again in Bangkok, my senses were harassed terribly by the noise, pollution and the extreme heat. Not to say I hate Bangkok, it is a great metropolitan city, probably it is matter of preference. Nonetheless, I did had some fun watching movies with two Canadian girls. Till I was in Bangkok, I literally had my passport, my cash and my bankcard with my huge backpacks and yeah NO WHERE TO GO.
|Sunrise somewhere nearing the bordering station in Nong Khai|
I think because my hostel had to kick me out since they had booking and with me not liking Bangkok – I told myself “You gotta start making some move Rayyan!”
There I was buying ticket at Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok to a place that I literally know that it exist on the map yet not in my brain – I have zero knowledge of Laos. I did freak out a bit knowing that the train only arrive at Nong Khai, which is still in Thailand and I somehow how have to get a connection to Thanaleng in Laos PDR.
Upon arriving, it was pretty easy actually though I did feel that this train-connecting thing is more of a tourist thing. No local was in there at all! Alas, the immigration is easy and Malaysian get 30 days Visa FREE! (We all like free things lah) And from Thanaleng Station to Vientiane town is about 30 minutes and a shared cab was about 80 Baht is or 20,000 KIP
|Patuxay, the War Monument that somehow reminds me of Paris.|
So yeah, I arrived in Vientiane, Laos safely though the taxi driver kinda dropped me half-kilometre away, I think he wanted me to lose weight and decided I better walk. His plan worked, I was like THANK GOD I saw the hostel after the walk. It wasn’t easy I tell you…wasn’t easy.
I decided to stay at Vientiane Backpacker Hostel and it was the best decision I have ever made albeit the bedbugs. That wasn’t easy to handle but am glad there were backpackers from Australia who were so friendly that they gave me to use their pesticide spray. Oh yeah, I asked to change bed the next day.
|Buddha park – this WAS THAT HIGH. I was shaking when a friend took my photo.|
There were lots of things that I did in Vientiane, Laos and I’ll share it with you guys in the next next entry yeah? Till then, I leave you with the super-awesome minibus that I took from Vientiane town to the outskirt village where Buddha Park is situated. It is public transport though, I think it was donated by the Japanese government to aid Laos.
Till then, keep on traveling peeps! 😀