The 3rd Class Experience and Getting to Laos
Nong Khai Travel Blog› entry 40 of 121 › view all entries
Slightly crippled, we got off the train at Nong Khai and now had to work out how to sort the Laos visa. This got so confusing. The first stop was at a bus station, but the bus wouldn’t take us without the visa pre-arranged. This meant us going back to the border, leaving Jay and Raz with the bags (they didn’t need a visa being from their respective countries). When we got back to the border we found out that we couldn’t actually get a visa sorted on the Thai side of the crossing, and if we crossed in Laos to get the visa, we couldn’t come back into Thailand without invalidating it. Colin sorted this problem out by taking a tuk tuk to pick up Jay, Raz and all the bags, and we all crossed together, not knowing where or how we would get to Vientiane.
Luckily it all turned out to be geared towards the tourist and so once we all had our passports back, it was a simple job getting a ride to Vientiane and then a mini-bus to Vang Vieng and all the other guys.
The drive was beautifully scenic, but the roads are so poor that the bumps make it almost impossible to sleep and avoid pain, even with the most sturdy of shock absorbers.
After five gruelling hours, we had made it. We were in no mood to hunt out a guest house and so accepted the first one for the night, grateful for a hot shower and comfy bed, but also with the added bonuses of air-conditioning and cable TV. We all just wanted to freshen up and feel human again.
Myself, Lori, Ivan and Colin went for some food and immediately spotted Eiko and Layla. They pointed us in the right direction to everyone else, and so we were set. We found Sakura bar and had a few beers with everyone and discussed the shenanigans of the trains and night before. Those guys had some good stories!
Someone mentioned the bar had a pet monkey, and so I was straight up in search of the little critter. I found her and she seemed to take a shine to boys, not Mike mind you, she peed on him! She crawled all over me, but rejected Lori’s offer of an arm, and would only leave me for Colin. He was stuck with her, but I think that suited both parties.
That was our evening. It had turned out that Liat was the only one who had gone tubing that day as the rest used it to recover from the previous night. They had also said that they had waited for us to arrive so we could all go together..... yeah right!