Mekong – We Meet Again!

Vientiane Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 19 › view all entries
@ Thai embassy in Lao.

I arrived in Nong Khai at around 4 A.

@ the Victory Monument.
M., I think.  It was freezing cold!  I’ve been warned about the weather so I have already layered by clothes but still I was cold.  I should have bought those boots with a fur at Platinum Mall.

 

Anyways, at the bus station, Aying & Elexis told me not to worry with directions since I would eventually meet Pinoys who’s going to exit Thailand and enter Laos to get their passports stamped and be able to extend their stay in Thailand.  But when I got off the bus, I don’t see any Pinoys.  In fact, it was deserted, just a few passengers.  I saw a girl that looked like a Pinay so I sat beside her but it turned out that she was a Nepalese.  Then the tuk tuk touts started asking us that they’d take us to the border.  I didn’t mind them at first because I’ve read from LP that the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge opens at 6 A.

Sunset @ Patuxai.
M.  But there’s this tuk tuk driver who knew a few words of Tagalog and told me that there’s a Pinoy waiting in the border.  I asked her to join me but she refused as she would just wait for the Thai-Lao International Bus which leaves at 7:30 A.M.  I couldn’t wait anymore as it was freezing already and I also want to have a Pinoy company, and so I hopped on his tuk tuk.

 

It was just me & the tuk tuk driver on a pitch black freezing morning.  Then he stopped at a tour agency near the border.  As it turned out, the Pinoy that he was referring to works in that agency.  I was so glad when I saw a Pinoy and be able to speak Tagalog.  When I was inquiring about their services, she was charging me 500THB for the transportation from the border to Vientiane.  Naman kabayan!  That’s too much.  I was really disappointed.  I had no choice but to go back to the bus station and wait for the Thai-Lao International Bus.  Worst is, she even told the tuk tuk driver to charge me again for the ride back to the station.  I got scammed, by a Pinoy!

 

Back at the Nong Khai Bus Station, I waited for the Thai-Lao International Bus ticket booth to open and then I met Terry, an Igorot working in Bangkok as a caregiver.

dinner along Mekong River.
  Later, we met two more Pinays.  And at the Thai-Lao border, we met 3 more Pinoys.  The group was getting bigger.

 

When we arrived in Vientiane’s Talat Sao bus station, Terry told me that they need to get to the Thai embassy immediately because processing of extension will just be entertained in the morning.  I joined them and at the embassy, I saw a lot of Pinoys queuing under the heat of the sun and eagerly hoping that their extension of stay be approved.

 

Few minutes past noon, we stepped out of the Thai embassy with happy faces because their extensions were all approved.  Celebration was at a nearby carinderia (restaurant) with Khao Pad in various flavors.

 

Later in the afternoon, the Pinoy group toured Vientiane.  Most of them haven’t really explored this city although they’ve been here a couple of times to get their passports stamped, so they were basically relying on me and my LP.

 

Walking along Th Lan Xang, we reached Patuxai, Vientiane’s version of Arc de Triomphe.

and there was light...
  However, we weren’t able to go up the monument as we’re short of time.  I don’t know why this is considered Laos’ must-see when it’s just an unfinished concrete structure.

 

For dinner, we went to the riverside local eateries.  Along the Mekong River, open-air restaurants lined up.  They mostly served similar cuisines, but we went to the restaurant where we were able to haggle.  :)

 

After a sumptuous dinner of Khao pad, grilled fish & pork, stir-fried veggies, and of course somtam and a few bottles of Beer Lao, we decided to call it a night and hit the sack.  As much as we would have wanted to feel the Mekong River more, it was just freaking cold!
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@ Thai embassy in Lao.
@ Thai embassy in Lao.
@ the Victory Monument.
@ the Victory Monument.
Sunset @ Patuxai.
Sunset @ Patuxai.
dinner along Mekong River.
dinner along Mekong River.
and there was light...
and there was light...
Thai-Lao border.
Thai-Lao border.
Thai-Lao International Bus.
Thai-Lao International Bus.
tuk-tuk, Lao style.
tuk-tuk, Lao style.
Lao vendor.
Lao vendor.
@ Thai embassy in Lao.
@ Thai embassy in Lao.
Pinoys on Queue.
Pinoys on Queue.
Lao boy.
Lao boy.
dont touch my lens!
don't touch my lens!
flower @ Thai embassy.
flower @ Thai embassy.
flower @ Thai embassy.
flower @ Thai embassy.
The Anusawali.
The Anusawali.
Laos sunset.
Laos sunset.
Pinoy gang @ Patuxai.
Pinoy gang @ Patuxai.
restaurants @ Mekong.
restaurants @ Mekong.
tuk-tuk ride back to hostel.
tuk-tuk ride back to hostel.
Vientiane
photo by: skydiver