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Let the trip begin
Normally when I do a visa run to Vientiane Laos, All is well not this time. I returned yesterday after 3 days f crap. Welcome to Asia and the junk scam of the earth. So today as I promised in my price posts I will talk about how it went. Sadly even after I followed my own golden rule of always booking ahead for rooms, no help there.
The run up to the border was fine, booked the 2 ways bus fare 2 days early as always, it was at the bus station that things went south. The closest station is only a few miles from the border, but as I was to learn, Udon would have been cheaper, sadly it is 1 hour from the border but, the price after tuk-tuk and bull you deal with is 300 baths less.So after getting to the border, the real bull started.
Friendship Bridge Thai-Laos Border
So you will exit Thailand, hop the bus for 20 baht and to the control checkpoint for Laos, cool, it’s here that the true nature of Asian underbelly started.You pay the fee,1,500 Baht to enter, Go around the side to wait for your entry stamp, 1 1/2 hours of standing with 60 other people, looking at a window later finally get my passport back. which would have been whatever, But, 3 tourist groups cut in front of all of us after waiting all that time, the groups had to have paid a bribe to cut 100 people in front of everyone else like it want nothing. So finally got a taxi to La Ong Dao Hotel and that if you don’t know takes another 1 hour of driving to get into the capital city.
La Ong Dao Hotel 1:
Getting to the hotel , the check in was only after going to the embassy at 9 am and doing the wait in line thing to get a application and submit the passport for stamp , takes till almost noon, fine after walk the 6 blocks to the hotel and surprise, the room I booked a week in advance, gone, they don’t care, no , I’m sorry can i get you a better room, n I get the crappiest room in the hotel, kicked in bathroom door, front door is a slider with an almost hasp lock, Sad. Then the breakfast that is clearly stated to be part of the room, none, they don’t even hide the fact that they LIED in writing. So I say to you Laos a double boo.
The Thai Embassy
next day return 2 hours early to get the passport back, starts raining finally open the gate at 1:10 pm, people rush to sit down, turns out they changed the process of getting your passport back, when you pay the day before, sign in bold letters states, return to THIS building to get passport, nope, no ticket as the rules state, they decide, to do it in a different area, so I waited 2 hours for nothing seeing as the crowd rushed the window and yep.
The way back
As always the drivers try to screw you out of as much as they can, the guy charges me 100 baht and has the nerve to tell me outside the van, I will charge you 100, these guys will get charged 150. And on the Thai side, the drivers doubled the normal price to Udon. Sadly my 3rd time to this area was so bad I don’t recommend ever ging to Laos.
So as always plan ahead, And for me, I say fly, it’s faster, 1 hour there and if you book 3 moths out you can get a flight for less than the bus. Be the safe friend and have fun reading this.