Vientiane Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
Then it was time for the flight today. Having been ticketed for a 1210 flight, then rescheduled to 1620 it was no real suprise to find that they had no record of me on the flight... but they would place me on a 1810 flight since that was the only one running due to unspecified 'aircraft problems'!! Feeling really safe about it now... especially since I read after I'd checked in that Western Embassies in Laos don't allow their staff to fly with Lao Aviation/Lao Airlines due to poor (i.e. fatal) safety standards. Also, Luang Prabang International Airport is not entirely big on security, despite occasionally having flights going to Bangkok- the 'road' runs about 50 metres from the tarmac with nothing in between and there's no screening of carry-on baggage! Fifteen minutes after we were supposed to have taken off, an old french-built AT72 lands with a shudder and shake and we're herded on for the 35 minute flight to Vientiane while there's no clouds (Lao Aviation pilots can't fly with clouds apparently).
All goes relatively smoothly on the flight although I get a little anxious at the sight of heavy cloud over what I assume to be Vientiane... but the pilot has that sorted, just descend low (really low) early and fly at a ridiculously low altitude for 3/4 of the flight! Never mind the mountainous terrain....
Anyway...obviously we arrived 'safely' in Vientiane and I caught a taxi to the hotel which has to be the WORST hotel I have ever stayed in. Ever. Despite paying for a four star place I got an absolute dump...I asked to change rooms because of problems with the first one I was given only to find that it's even worse and they wouldn't let me change back! Where do I start... airconditioner doesn't work, bathroom lights don't work, no hot water, no English TV, 1 pillow on a double bed with no extras available, mould in the bathroom (lucky the lights are broken!)... only two nights here though. Will see Vientiane properly tomorrow and fly out to Bangkok/Melbourne on Thursday/Friday.