on a mission

Vientiane Travel Blog

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once again, the plan for this day was set: get my ass to vientiane, the laos capital, as quickly as possible, find a nice & cheap guesthouse, get a vietnam visa, get a flight to hanoi before my birthday

from time to time i need those army-like days, especially after a dopehead location like vang vieng :-)

so i got up at 0600, walked to the bus station and at 0630 the bus was on its way... laos a slow travelling country? no way... laos bus system rocks, especially in the lower north tourist trail. as another plus the bus drove right through vientiane so i jumped out in front of all the guesthouses and didn't have to loop at the bus station.

i don't understand why people pay 5 dollars more for a minibus... they are cramped, full with tourists and only marginally faster.

anyway... finding a room was not as easy as i thought... all the good ones were full so i returned to the first one for a hefty 12usd a night... but hey, it's a deluxe room with ensuite bath, aircon and sat tv (watching cnn as i type)... i'm getting older soon, i need those kind of luxuries anyway hehe

ate lunch in a great & cheap indian restaurant (taj mahal... what an original name) and got ready for the visa march... bad news, one day turnover meant monday as tomorrow is some kind of vietnam holiday... so same day it was, but the problem being that i only knew from the lonely planet forum that they do it, pretty unconfirmed...

so i walked... finally exchanged some of my travellers cheques into usd and got to the embassy. walked in, filled out form, paid 60usd (urgh) and walked out with the visa 5 mins later. brillant, money makes the world go round!

walked 20 minutes to the vietnam airlines office, said 'hanoi! sunday!', they said '118 usd please' and 5 mins later i had my ticket. vietnam airlines is groovy anyway as their female work uniform looks like from star trek (original series though)

mission accomplished

will be in hanoi 2 days before my bday so i have time to search for my birthday present which will most likely be a luxury night in a posh hotel if i find a nice one (that comes with complementary vietnamese hookers... just kidding hehe)

ah btw... vientiane is lovely, i don't know why everyone thinks its boring and ugly... nice selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and there is the mekong again... really nice!
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photo by: skydiver