Let me start my web log by saying this: I FAVOR Laos! I seriously do. This country is these types of an attractive and calm sanctuary for anybody just who desires of a getaway through the bustling Hanoi. The relaxed life style here features received Laos its nickname “Lao PDR = Lao Please Don’t Rush”. Everything is sooooo slow here. No, I'm not whining. That’s just an undeniable fact and even more I discover the nation the more I adore it..
Just last year, after finding its way back from Saigon, I actually even planned to go to Laos, I attempted to send my CV around but unfortunately my efforts performedn’t work out. It had been additionally a shame to acknowledge that I experienced lived close to Laos for pretty much 30 years but never ever been there once, until 14 days ago..
Transportation from Vietnam to Laos:
You can find only 2 techniques to head to Laos from Vietnam: either ridiculously pricey by routes (Vietnam Airlines or Lao air companies) at the cost of roughly US$350 return trips for an overall total of 1 or 2 hour direct flights or crazily exhausting 24-27 hour bus rides from Hanoi to Vientiane/Luang Prabang at about US-60 return trips.
Cheaper airlines only go from Thailand and Malaysia (AirAsia or NokAir).
For me personally, i did son’t even think hard to pick the coach alternative. I was thinking: “Meh, i did so the 24/7 train from Delhi to Mumbai before, i will totally deal with this”. And yeah We survived. Risk-free. Can’t state those had been pleasant trips though: twenty four hours from Hanoi to Vientiane and 27 hours from Luang Prabang to Hanoi.
Guidance to Westerners: only repeat this coach thing when you actually can’t afford traveling, as it can be your worst nightmare previously. Why? As:
– Food stops: a couple of times during entire time;
– Toilet prevents: same, and you may dream about an effective toilet;
– Space: no room. Did they do say “sleeper”? Dont bother trusting it. Two of you would be squeezed under the “beds” if you buy seats belated, plus the “under-bed” measurement is 1m x 1.7m. And demonstrably you can’t fit, hence, you’ll invest 24-27 hours sitting on the floor;
– Bus motorists don’t speak English and won’t care sh*t in regards to you.
Vietnamese and Laotians are much much better at this coach trip simply because we're smaller and easy to squeeze in minimal spaces and we also appear to be better at suffering from hunger, thirst being squeezed. Individually, I consumed and consumed almost no throughout the coach hours to reduce toilet “demand”. Anyway, i do believe I’ll skip these coach trips the next occasion going to..
So, once you have already been informed about all of this but still might like to do the bus (either for brand new experience or even to save cash) then here's violation tips:
Buying bus passes in Hanoi:
– i purchased solution at 3A Nguyen Gia Thieu, Hai Ba Trung District. Tel: +84 (0) 4 3942 0554. They have been rather reliable and provide cheapest cost. Purchase early assuring you have an actual bed, without having to sleep on the floor, so that you can understand stunning surroundings on the way. Information is 3-4 months beforehand.
– Ask them title of coach section (normally it's Nuoc Ngam Bus station – Bến Xe Nước Ngầm), and get them to put the number of your seat on bill.
– You can get seats through the Nuoc Ngam Bus Station as well, it’s about 14km out of the town center.
– Don’t buy return tickets, because usually people visiting Laos return from Luang Prabang, maybe not Vientiane.
Various records for people planning to Laos from Vietnam:
– Change money from Lao-Viet Bank in Vietnam. The change rate for Vietnam Dong as a swap stands in Laos is extremely bad. Or bring USD or EUR to you.
– Remember Laos isn't that cheap. Mostly because Lao money is quite strong. After that countless their meals and products tend to be imported from Vietnam, Thailand or Asia, thus, the cost is large. Transportation expense within towns and cities is costly also. I spent about US0 with this 8-day trip (in which 3 days I became in buses). talking from a Vietnamese backpacker’s perspective this is certainly a lot of money for just one single-trip.
– Don’t be shock that we now have a few impolite and unfriendly Laotians every so often (Stereotype is that Laotians are awesome sweet and good). However, nevertheless they're a lot a great deal nicer than Vietnamese men and women in general. Sad for Vietnam(!)
– make sure to reserve resort hotels in advance in large period, particularly in Luang Prabang. All visitor homes / hotels / hostels in Luang Prabang had been packed whenever I appeared indeed there at 4.30 each morning(!). Imagine just how miserable it was become wandering in one visitor house to some other from 4.30 to 8 to eventually find a available area. By-the-way, here are a few suggestions for resorts in Laos:
+ Vientiane: I stayed at Lovan Guesthouse. Great cost, main location, quiet and quite clean.
+ Vang Vieng: we remained at Inthira Hotel. Nice one, just very costly for backpackers.
+ Luang Prabang: we remained at Silichith Guesthouse on Ban Xiengmuoane – this is found by accident. Huge room, great price, central place. Email quantity: +856 71 212 758
– Best souvenir is Beerlao! You will find 2 types: Lao dark and Lao lager. Essentially among the best beer in south-east Asia! You can find places in Hanoi to find Beerlao too, but naturally you can buy in Lao at half of the price.