Sawaddee Krab, hello all, this is my first review with Readme. I'm quite new here, please accept my apology if I make any mistakes in my review. Well, I also don't know how to start, haha. Let's get into our story. Usually, I like to travel, especially the sea, I love it. But in fact, I also love mountains, I love to go on a journey, even when I'm alone, haha. If you ask me why I choose Vang Vieng. Well, it has always been in my list. I remember reading a review and felt really want to travel. I wanted to know what it has to offer and why so many people travel there. I also wanted to know if it's as good as the review said. So I tell myself that I must go to see with my own eyes one day. Then, this trip started when a friend invited me to Vang Vieng. it's just the place I'd love to visit. I said yes right away. After that, we started to search for information. This trip, my friend book everything, from the flight to hotel and where to go. So I'm quite relax, haha.
P.S. This review probably is a bit long and don't be suprised if you get confused while reading, just try to read it anyway, haha.
***The approximate expenses and recommendations are provided at the end.
For more information, contact me at Facebook : Sarun Sudnum
Vang Vieng Trip, Laos PDR, Don Mueang-Udon Thai-Vientiane-Vang Vieng
To not waste time further, let's get into our journey. We start by flying from Bangkok with Air Asia to Udon Thani. My friend got a good price for 820 THB and our flight is at 11.30 a.m. I got so excited and arrived at the airport since 8 a.m. haha. After that, 3 more friends come to join me from Chonburi. Now we have 4 people and another friend is waiting for us at Udon Thani. Altogether, we are 5 people. After checking in and everything, we go wait to board the flight. When time is near, the staff announced "the passengers traveling to Udon Thani at 11.30, the flight has been delayed". I was thinking that I had been waiting for a long time, haha, do I have to wait longer? Then, the announcement continues that the flight has been delayed for 10 minutes. So I feel relieved, haha. Actually, it was less than 10 minutes and we start to board.
I walk in with smiles. Cabin crews of Air Asia are quite beautiful. I smile all along the way and feel like really want to take them home, haha. Actually, I take more photos of them but I think I'll just watch it alone and let you guys see only this, haha :P After approximately an hour flight, we are now at Udon Thani Airport. It's quite fast. After that we take a taxi to the bus station which costs us 200 THB. Also, do not go to the wrong bus station, the bus that goes to Laos PDR is the one located opposite to Central Udon Thani.
After 20 minutes ride on the taxi, we now reach the bus station. Now it's around 1 p.m. There's only one bus to Vang Vieng per day which is at 08.30 a.m. and the fare is 320 THB. If you wish to take this bus, you have to take a very early flight, otherwise, you could miss it. If you miss it, you can take the bus to Vientiane first and then take another bus to Vang Vieng.
Our destination is Vientiane. We are taking the bus at 2 p.m. and the fare is 80 THB. We must use our passport when buying the bus ticket.
Here is the timetable to Vang Vieng which only has one bus per day and to Vientiane which offers almost every hour. Hence, you can plan your travel accordingly.
This is our bus to Vientiane, let's go.
The bus leaves at 14.00 p.m., very on time. After that, the staff distributes the immigration cards for us, one is Thai Immigration Card and the other one is Laos. We now can fill out this form (we should bring a pen). It takes about an hour to reach Thai boarder. We now get off from the bus, take our passport and immigration card to the immigration office while the bus is waiting for us at the other side. After that, we get on the bus and again get off at Laos Immigration office. But here is a bit more complicated, we need to have a key card in order to go through the door just like when we take the BTS. The fee is 5 THB or 1,000 LAK. If you come after 4 p.m. you must pay 55 THB (they said it is an overtime fee). My friends come late, so they have to pay the later fee, haha.
The ride is not long. After approximately 2 hours, we are now at "Vientiane the Capital". Actually, I'm not quite sure if this place is Vientiane Bus Station or not.
Here is the transportation vehicles towards other places which offer both in 4-wheels and 3 wheels. Of course, we didn't take the 4-wheels one but the other type which die every time we stop, haha. I forgot to take its photo. For hotel, we plan to stay at Vientiane Golden Sun but the driver didn't know the place and couldn't take us there. He recommended us to stay along Mekong River instead which he said is cheap, so we agree. We are on the tricycle for about 40 minutes which is quite long due to the evening traffic. We get off along the Mekong River and start to look for accommodation. The first one we asked is 4,xxx THB per night which is too expensive for us so we leave quickly, haha.
Finally, we decided to stay here at Laos Silk Hotel which is only 100 meter away from Mekong River. It is 1,280 THB per night. The room is clean, the bed is soft, the AC is cool. It comes with a fridge, TV, WiFi and breakfast which is quite ok. Since our hotel is opposite to the bus station towards Vang Vieng, we book it right away for 9 a.m. the next morning so we don't have to hurry tomorrow.
Here is how the room looks like. After checking in, let's roam around and see what the capital has to offer.
The first impression in Vientiane is the parking lot. It looks tidy without anyone having to guide around.
The evening atmosphere along Mekong River is quite nice, the wind is blowing.
Way of lives here is similar to ours. People are out for exercising, walking, and chilling.
We are lucky to see walking street along Mekong River which I'm not sure if they have it everyday or not.
Atmosphere is similar to our walking street where food, souvenirs, bags, shoes, handicrafts, etc are put along street. The price is also similar to ours.
Soon, the stomach is crying.....that it is hungry, haha. Let's go find some food.
We stop here. It is the shop we spotted since when we looked for the accommodation. It is located in front of Wat Chantaburi, I'm not sure if I read it correctly, haha. It is opposite to walking street.
Here is what we order, Grilled Chicken, Papaya Salad, and Sticky Rice. The taste is quite delicious.
Papaya Salad is so good, hehe.
And what we really want to taste, or perhaps, just me, haha, is Beer Laos. It tastes really soft, it is 12,000 LAK which is about 48-50 THB. I think it's not that cheap but the taste is great so we have 4 of them, haha. This meal is about 17x,xxx LAK which is about 680 THB. I think it's quite reasonable for 5 people. We pay using 1,000 THB banknote and get the change back in LAK. But then, we only got about 200 THB back so then we went to talk with the owner. Well, now listening to her, it seems right or we didn't know how to calculate, haha. Anyhow, it's only about 100 THB loss and I think combining with this money, this meal is still ok. After that, we go back to rest and get ready for tomorrow journey.
Let's start with the morning of 4th May 2016. After breakfast, checking out, and waiting to take the bus to Vang Vieng, we decided to exchange for some Laos money as it's more convenient and cheaper to use. We exchange for about 3,000 THB which gives us about 600,000 LAK. We can exchange it with either the banks or exchange shops.
The bus picks us up at 9 a.m. (Oh I forgot to mention that the fare to Vang Vieng is about 200 THB). After circling to take all passengers which all are westerners except us and other two Thai people, the van actually leaves around 10 a.m. The van stops when going about half way for restroom using and food. You should eat something here, otherwise, you could be starving like us because we thought that we would reach soon so we didn't eat anything, haha. The restroom fee is 5 THB or 1,000 LAK.
The road is quite rough, going up and down the hill, we are shaking along the way, haha. It takes about 5 hours to reach there. We reach Vang Vieng at about 3 p.m. Frankly, I'm so starving that I could eat the entire cow, haha.
At first we were thinking to hire car to our accommodation, but it's quite expensive so we decided to walk. We book the room at Vang Vieng Backpacker. It is not so far from where we got dropped off.
And here is our hotel. I think it's not that good but it's good that it's cheap, haha. The room is quite old, the AC is not cold, luckily that the fan is there. It offers TV, WiFi which is quite slow in our room but fast downstairs.
We stay in a big room. It has 5 beds and we stay here 2 nights. It costs us 2,788 THB when divided by 5 people, it is only 557 THB per person which is quite cheap. I think with this type of room, this price is very good.
Here is the view from our balcony. After checking in, it's time for food, haha, after we forgot that we were starving for a while.
Walking not so far and after making a choice, we decided to go to this restaurant which I don't quite remember the name because I didn't take a photo, haha, as I was way too hungry back then. I have to say that Papaya Salad here is so great, it tastes so good or because I was too hungry, haha. This meal, we have 3 dishes of it, haha. It is so delicious. Laos Papaya Salad puts Plara and Shrimp Paste and small tomatoes. It has mild smell of Plara and Shrimp Paste. I think for people who don't like Plara can also enjoy this dish here.
Fried Rice is also great. Actually, we order more food than this but I didn't take photos because we were too hungry, everything disappears within seconds, haha.
And this is what must not miss, Beer Laos, haha. It is our close friend along the trip. This meal we only have 3 of it. I have to say Laos Papaya Salad and Beer Laos is a perfect match, it goes so well together.
This meal costs us 292,000 LAK...which is about 1,xxx THB and about 2xx THB each.
From each menu, it looks expensive. Well, considering that here is the tourist destination, the overall price is reasonable. We are so full now.
After that, we go for scooter rental shop. We rent two of them. After negotiation, we got the price of 260,000/2 scooters/2 nights. In average, it is 260 THB per person per day without fuel. We have to fill it ourselves. The full fuel is 60 THB each scooter. In total, we each pay 290 THB per day.
After that, we ride to take photos along the canal and enjoy the evening atmosphere.
It is said that to get on a balloon, we each have to pay 2,500 THB so we can only watch it from below. We really want to go up too but we have no money, haha. I think it must be very beautiful looking from above.
The evening atmosphere along the river is quite great, looking fresh and relax.
I just keep pressing the shutter and that is all I do, haha.
What you see here is a bar with food and beverages. It will also be where we sit today, hehe.
I think the people is not that many or perhaps today is not holidays.
Then, we choose to sit at the far back, the atmosphere is so great but somehow I can't explain in words to you, haha.
Actually, the greatest part is here, haha, where you put your feet into the water while sipping a beer. My friend put his entire body into it, haha. I also wanted to join but I wear pants so I can't. Tonight we decided to try Black Beer Laos, the taste is very dark and concentrated. I think for those who like it, it's really good. For me, it's a little bit too much but I can get drunk still, haha.
When it gets dark, we go back to our room to take shower because we will go to Sakura Bar tonight. Here is another place that said we must not miss when visiting Vang Vieng. Let's go check it out.
When coming back to take shower, I see this beautiful view from our balcony so I can't help but take a few shots of it. What a nice atmosphere!
After dressing up, we go straight to this place, Sakura Bar. It is quite close to us, only about a kilometer away. Let's go for a free drink, hehe.
The atmosphere inside is quite ok. The DJ is there to play cool music. Free drinks are offered from 8-9 p.m. It is a drink mixed with Coke, Sprite, or fruit juice depending on what we want. We can just tell the staff. I think the taste is not alright. It's too sweet. If I keep drinking, I would fall sleep for sure, haha.
Here is how the bar looks like. At first, there weren't that many people but soon it's all full. I think most people come for free drinks, haha. Most of the guests are Westerners, some are Chinese and Korean, I think Thai people are also quite a lot.
If you ask my opinion about this place, I think it's not ok or perhaps I just don't like this style, haha.
When it gets late, there's this interesting game, Beer Pong. If you can throw table tennis into the glass of the opposite team, they would have to drink that glass.
If you are good at this game, the other team would be drunk, haha. We didn't spend much time there. We leave at about 10 p.m. We think it's not that fun and perhaps we are exhausted from traveling also. So we decided to go back to rest and save energy for the next day adventure!
Good morning 5th May 2016. I was the first to wake up and really wanted to take the sunrise shot. But it seems like I'm just a bit later than the sun and she didn't wait for me, haha.
I heard that there's a fresh market in the morning so I go to take photos right away. Let's see what they sell this morning.
Paco Fern (Pak Gud), the name is the same as in Thai.
I don't know what this vegetable is called and I also forgot to ask, haha.
When we have vegetable, we must also have fish.
Here is some insects. If you like some exotic food, you must try this. But I have to skip as it's not my type, haha.
It looks like way of lives of people is quite simple and not chaotic. After seeing this, I just feel easy, relax and really, it's the kind of feeling that I can't explain to you.
For breakfast, we have this. It is a must try dish when coming to Laos. Laos people call it "Pho". I think it's like noodle soup in Thailand. It is quite delicious.
And another must try food is Laos Sandwich which is so big. Even though the bread is a bit too hard, overall taste is quite good.
This meal costs us 107,000 LAK which is about 400 THB.
After food, we are going to go to the Blue Lagooon, let's go!!!
Blue Lagoon is located on the opposite site of the canal, it is about 7 km. away from where we are. We decided to go there in the morning as we think it'd be a big crowd in the afternoon because the tour will take them there. It's as we expected, not so many people there yet which is very nice for photography. It is 10,000 LAK for the entrance fee or about 40 THB.
The water is quite deep but super clear, blue, and cold. I just love it so much, hehe. Well, I think it's a bit too small when thinking about a big crowd, it'd become a very small place. If you cannot swim, you can also rent a life jacket. If I remember it correctly, it is about 20,000 LAK for two hours per one life jacket.
This photo is on the opposite side. The water is also clear but not so many people due to it has no jumping station. We can see the slider afar and I'm not sure if we have to pay to get on it or not.
Here is the way up to the jumping station. It might not look that high, but it's quite high up when you are actually here.
Here is from the other side. The overall area is not that big and when there's a big crowd, it'd be quite uncomfortable.
It is said that we must jump when coming here, otherwise, we are yet reached here. There're two level of jumping station, one is primary school and the other one is university. If you are not dare enough, the primary one is sufficient, haha. But if you love something exciting, you must try the university one. For me....? I try.....I try to watch people jump, I do not dare to risk my little life, haha. I'm afraid of height because it's too frightening, haha. Well, I think by looking at people jumping is already fun.
I think the great thing about Blue Lagoon is not the clear and blue water, but this one, haha. I like to say to the Blue Lagoon that "the beautiful Blue Lagoon is lost to these beautiful girls", haha.
We spend about two hours at Blue Lagoon before scooting to Tham Poukham Cave. We see the sign once we are out, so we follow that but we feel that it's quite far. Then, we stop to ask for direction and learn that we have come to the wrong way, haha. In fact, it's right inside the Blue Lagoon but we didn't know it, haha. Well, we didn't want to go back and pay the fee again. We decided to leave it and go for other destinations.
The view along the way is quite beautiful so we stop for some photos.
They said that this road used to be the dirt road which makes it very difficult to travel, especially during rainy season. I heard that it's only paved two months ago.
While taking photos and looking at them, I feel I want a closer shot. My friend then said he saw the way towards the field earlier so he leads the way. There's a scooter in front of us and when he sees us, he stops and asks whether we want to go up to the mountain. We ask what? And he answers, up to the mountain and he will lead the way. We then said sure, why not, right?
This mountain is Khao Pha Daeng which has a beautiful viewpoint. Actually, it also opens for tourists but the sign is a bit too small. It is the yellow sign situated along the way towards Blue Lagoon. The entrance fee is 10,000 LAK. We asked that tour guide whether it's far or difficult to go up or not and the answer is no. He said it'd take about 30 minutes and quite easy to go up. Ok then, let's go!!!
At first it was quite easy to walk up but soon it gets steeper and steeper and I come with my slippers, haha. I'm not dressed properly too, anyway, let's keep going, haha. Well, actually it's quite fun but tiring so we stop from time to time, haha. I recommend you guys to bring some water too if you want to hike up.
After hiking up for sometimes, we start to see the view and think that we might be close now. We asked our guide and he keeps saying it's very close now but we are yet to reach. Two of my friends give up and decided to wait here as the way is quite difficult and with unprepared clothes. Now, it's only three of us. I'm just thinking that I'm already here and I must complete this task, cheers!!!
After continue walking a bit more, I talk to my friends that it's good that other two friends decided not to come as we still need to walk quite far and the road is quite extreme, haha. There's a point where I really like. The road is flat, the forest is lush, the weather is cool as if we are walking in the AC room. But I forgot to take photos as I was too tired, haha and thinking to take on the way back but again, I forgot, haha.
Finally, we made it. Yay!! But where is the view, why this mountain is blocking our view? Oh, it's not this side, haha.
And here is the view on the left. It's really beautiful. When looking down, I'm so impressed of how I have walked up this far. They said that you will be recovered from exhaustion when seeing the view, it didn't happen to me, haha. But I have to admit that the view is really beautiful.
Here is the front view where you can see Vang Vieng clearly in 180 degree.
The view on the right gives you the mountains view which is quite beautiful.
If I get to capture the light either on the morning or the evening, it'd be very beautiful.
Well, actually we almost can enjoy a 360 degree view except that the other side has the mountain view blocking the behind scene. Well, I think it's still beautiful.
And he is our tour guide, Nong Mitr.
After appreciating the atmosphere and taking photos for a while, let's go down. It's not so tired as when walking up but it's quite slippery at certain area, haha. We must find a firm place when placing our feet down. Even our tour guide, he slips around several time, what about us? haha, of course, worse, haha. My pants were ripped too, haha.
On the way down, I just keep on taking photos here and there. I found this mushroom too.
I don't know what this flower is, but it's quite beautiful.
On the way down, our tour guide said he will take us to see some rocks. But once we reach, it disappears, haha. So we missed it. Well, did he fool us? It's not yet so tiring right? haha. When looking back, I really can't imagine how I manage to walk up. I almost lost my life here, haha. Just kidding, it's really fun. Although my legs are so sore, it's just a piece of cake, hehe.
There's a white grass field down there too, if I have a nice model, it'd be great, hehe.
Once we are down, he asked for 100,000 for the tour guide fee. OMG, you want 100,000 from us? It's so tiring going up, haha. This would be 400 THB. Then, we negotiate it to 200,000 per three person and he's ok. Well, I take this as our lesson from not asking the tour guide fee first. If you guys also want to go up, please ask for the guide fee first, otherwise, you will get the same experience like us, haha.
After this tiring trip, we want to drink something fresh, haha. Again, to our bar near the canal. Like usual, we have Grilled Chicken with Sticky Rice, Laos Papaya Salad, and Beer. Yes, we just keep on eating this food but it feels so good. After the food we go back to our room and thinking to ride around in the evening. We wanted to visit the Orange Bridge which is said to be a landmark of Vang Vieng. When we reach there, we find out that there's a entrance fee so let's come back tomorrow.
Along the way, I see several Roti shops and wanted to give it a try.
There are several flavors to choose from. If I remember it correctly, it's about 10,000 LAK each.
And here is what we have, a banana flavor topped with chocolate. Wow, the taste is so good, so soft. It's melted into our mouth, so good, haha. I think this is another must try thing, hehe.
After that, we come back to the same place again, the bar near the canal. It's like a place that we must come everyday. The atmosphere is right, the food is great, and the price is reasonable. Today, it's such a big crowd.
This evening we decided to try the Gold Beer Laos. Since we are already here, I wanted to try every flavor and I think this one is the easiest one to drink. The taste is great and soft but it comes in such a small bottle and quite expensive and we won't get drunk easily, haha.
Now it's time to show our rental scooter, how is it? haha. I'm just kidding, haha. These two were parked near the bar and I really like them so I take photo of them. Tonight we stay at the bar until 10 p.m. Tomorrow we are going to go the Orange Bridge, a waterfall, and tubing which is a highlight, so fun, hehe.
Sabaidee the morning of 6th May 2016. It's raining really hard this morning. The wind is so strong like the monsoon is here. The morning atmosphere is like this with a slight fog floating by, so beautiful.
This morning I go up to the top floor of our hotel and take a photo. Wow, the view is much better than our floor because the wires would be in the photos from our floor. If I didn't get to come up and see this view, I'd feel bad.
I really like this atmosphere. It's quite chill. Anyhow, I was a bit worried if we get to roam around today. But soon, the sun is out like usual, yay!!!
The sky after rain is so beautiful. I love this angle so much, so so beautiful.
Today we have to change our hotel. At first we were planning to stay near the canal, close to the bar but it's all full, T_T. The view is so great there, it'd be so nice staying there. Anyway, finally, we stay at Champa Laos the Villa.
The room is quite nice but I forgot to take photos. It has TV, AC and fast WiFi. After moving and checking in, it's time to explore Vang Vieng for our last day.
This morning, we go to different restaurant. Pho here looks so appetizing and great taste. Actually this is my friend's but I ask to take a photo, haha. I have a fried rice which is also delicious but I didn't take a photo.
After that, we come here, the Orange Bride of Tham Chang. The entrance fee is 10,000 LAK each. It is another place that we must take a photo with, otherwise, we might consider not yet here. Actually, it's just a normal bridge but look very beautiful and classic. The view is great, you just have to see it with your own eyes, hehe.
When you walk in, you will see this. It is a mineral water coming out from the cave. The water is so clear, blue, cold, and beautiful. When you look inside you will see a cave of which I'm not sure how deep it is. We can swim here but a bit narrow. Other than this, it is Tham Chang Cave where we have to walk upstairs. But I didn't go up because I was still tired from yesterday. That I put on fixed lens, I didn't take any photos because I'm lazy to change the lens, haha. We didn't spend much time there before moving to waterfall.
We travel on scooter for about 6 km and reach Tad Kaeng Yuy Waterfall (Tad in Laos means waterfall). First,it is a dirt road with a bit up and down hill which is quite fun, haha. After that, we need to walk on foot for about another 200 meter. We got tired after walking a bit and then we saw a person walking back and we asked to know that the waterfall is not far away. But he said the water is not much and would be more beautiful if more water is there. At first, we almost gave up but he encouraged us to walk up since we are already so close. We were a bit suspicious of how much water would be there as we didn't hear any sound of water so far. And yeah.....here is all the water they have, our dream collapse, haha, as we didn't think the water would be this less. We were thinking to take photos from top floor, T_T The local said the rainy season would have lots of water. I think it'd be very beautiful when the water is here as it falls quite high up.
There's some water on the below floor.
This floor has the most water but it's quite dull due to the rain last night. We were planning to jump into the water but water is too less.
So then we didn't spend much time here. We just went up to take photos and back. Well, let's just say we are already here at Tad Kaeng Yuy Waterfall, hehe.
After that, we come to enjoy the tubing time which has only one shop in Vang Vieng. It costs about 55,000 LAK per person with a deposit fee of 60,000 LAK. Then, they will drop us at the starting point. The distance is about 7 km where we will be tubing for about 3 hours. It is so fun. It is a true highlight for me here. Our slippers can be our good paddle too, haha. The fun part is where the water tide is strong (so much fun) and also when the kayaking boat passing by and we have to try to avoid it and sometimes we hit it too, haha. Some times, we also splash water into one another. I recommend you to wear a hat, long sleeves or put on good sunscreen lotion, otherwise, you could be burn, haha, because it's really long, 3 hours. But I have to say the view along the way is really beautiful. Too bad that I didn't bring a camera as I didn't have a waterproof bag, otherwise, I would have great photos. Here is the photo taken by my friend. I think during rainy season would be much more water and stronger tide, which will also be much more fun. I think it'd be a miss if you didn't try it ^^
*There's this rule that you have to return the tube before 6 p.m. otherwise, 20,000 LAK of your deposit of 60,000 LAK will be deducted. And if you lose the tube, they will deduct all your deposit.
Another interesting activity is the kayaking but we didn't get to try. Well, it costs 800 THB per person and we thought it's too expensive. After I come back, I knew that you can pay for 360 THB and get both kayaking and tubing. If you get to go, please ask and find it.
The kayaking boat also drops you at the same starting point of tubing but you will spend less time kayaking down for sure.
And if you are lazy to paddle, you can also take a long tail boat which will give you different atmosphere.
After the tubing, we again go back to the bar near the canal with Laos Papaya Salad and Beer Laos, haha. Then, we just go back to rest.
The last night of our time in Vang Vieng is here, the EARTH, which is close to our hotel. It's located near Champa Laos Bungalow. Well, with this atmosphere of sipping a beer under the candle light and accompanying by a live folk song music, of course, we are all drunk, haha. We drink about the entire box of beer. Let's take it as a farewell party, haha. There's food and several drinks. The seller is foreigner but I think the owner is Thai. The price is alright but importantly, it has WiFi. We stay here until almost midnight and after that we go back to rest. T_T, I can't believe that we are leaving tomorrow already.
Good morning, the last day of our trip here, 7th May 2016.
Let me capture the morning light a bit. Here is the view from our hotel. On the side, there's a balcony for view appreciation located in every floor. On this side, we could see the sunrise as well.
On the back of our hotel, it's the mountain view. I have to say that the morning view is so great.
Some people start the balloon trip since early morning.
Before going back, let's take a photo with Champa Laos Bungalow first. I really like the view here, it looks so naturally beautiful. Below hotel is Champa Laos Bungalow. I heard that the owner is Thai and the room is in hundred THB but the view is like millions THB. It's just so beautiful.
Our last rice porridge in Vang Vieng after a heavy hangover last night, haha.
Now it's time to say goodbye to Vang Vieng. I have to say that 4 days 3 nights go by so quickly. We enjoy here so much. It's so relaxing. We feel truly relax that we didn't want to go back to work. I think we got a lot from coming here. We get to explore more of this wider world, get new experiences that we can't find elsewhere, and have a great memory that we won't forget. This is indeed my very impressive abroad trip. More importantly, regardless, I feel happy every time for my every journey. If I have a chance, I'd come back for sure. For now, it's time to say goodbye........to Vang Vieng.
There's several places to book the bus back to Udon Thani like from shops. You can look for the sign and book it. We book it with a mini mart located opposite to Champa Laos Bungalow. We booked it yesterday for a 09.00 a.m. bus in a price of 430 THB each. The bus will come pick you up from the mini mart and take you to the bus terminal to exchange for the ticket before taking this bus again. It is about 5 hours bus ride from Vang Vieng to Udon Thani. We reach here about 3 p.m. and find the bus back. Here, a fried goes back to Bungkan, the other 3 back to Chonburi and I'm back to Bangkok. Since I have no friend, I decided to go to Chonburi first. We choose to go back with a bus at 8.30 p.m. The fare is 407 THB. I think the price to Bangkok would be the same.
We still have sometimes left, so we go to watch a movie at Central first. The bus leaves on time. It takes about 10 hours to reach Chonburi. Then, we all go back to our home. For my review, I'd like to end it here too.
Here is the approximate expenses for this trip:
3rd May 2016
The flight is 820 THB.
Taxi is 200/4= 50 THB.
Food at the bus station is 40 THB.
The bus to Vientiane is 80 THB.
Crossing boarder fee is 5 THB.
Accommodation at Vientiane is about 640 THB each.
Dinner is about 160 THB each.
Overall, it is 1,854 THB.
4th May 2016
The bus to Vang Vieng is 200 THB.
2 nights hotel is 2788/5 = 557 THB.
2 days Scooter rental and fuel is 1040+120/5 = 232 THB.
Dinner is about 235 THB each.
Total is 1,224 THB.
5th May 2016
Breakfast is about 100 THB each.
Blue Lagoon entrance fee is 40 THB.
Khao Pha Daeng entrance fee and the tour guide is 200 THB each.
Food is about 200 THB each.
Total is 540 THB.
6th May 2016
The hotel is about 700 THB each.
Breakfast is about 120 THB each.
Tham Chang entrance fee is 40 THB.
Waterfall entrance fee is 40 THB.
Tubing rental fee is 220 THB.
Food is about 200 each.
Total is 1,320 THB.
7th May 2016
Food is about 100 THB each.
The bus from Vang Vieng to Udon Thani is 430 THB.
Boarder crossing fee is 50 THB.
The bus from Udon Thani to Chonburi is 407 THB.
Total is 987 THB.
In summary, the expenses per person is about 1,854+1,224+540+1,320+987 = 5,925 THB.
**P.S. This is the approximate expenses per person excluding drinks and some food which I forget some, haha. Please accept my apology. Anyhow, here is the picture of how much it'd cost you. I think it'd be enough to bring about 5,000-7,000 THB. For us, we spend more when including all drinks, haha.
1. Laos people understand Thai so you won't have to worry about communication.
2. We can use Thai Baht without having to exchange into Laos Kip.
3. If you want to exchange some, do not exchange a lot as the exchange shop is available everywhere and it'd be difficult to exchange back (I think the bank offers the best rate).
4. The easiest way to convert Laos money into Thai is cut off last three zeros and multiply with 4. For instance, 10,000 LAK is 10x4 which is about 40 THB.
5. We should study well and read review about hotel. If you didn't book in advance, you can also find it easily when you reach there. There's a lot option to choose from, starting from hundreds THB.
6. If you travel here at the end of rainy season and the beginning of winter, it would be great and the view would be very beautiful.
7. Laos Papaya Salad, Laos Sandwich, Laos Roti, Pho, and Beer Lao is a must try food.
8. The must not miss attractions: Blue Lagoon, Tham Chang, Tad Kaeng Yuy Waterfall (rainy season), bar near the canal, tubing, kayaking, hiking up mountains.
9. We should take hat and sunglasses, especially sunglasses to wear to protect dust when riding a scooter.
10. If you want to hike up to Khao Pha Daeng, please negotiate the price with a tour guide beforehand.
11. We should bring a passport because the crossing border permit only allows you to stay there for 3 days and 2 nights.
12. We should also bring a pen for filling out the immigration forms.
I'm still new to be a reviewer but I do love to share my travel experiences. I hope it's useful for those who are interested and love to travel. Probably it's a bit confusing, haha, but please be patient and enjoy it anyway. If there's any mistakes, please accept my apology here.
Also, if you have any more questions, feel free to talk to me at Facebook : Sarun Sudnum I'd love to answer any questions you may have ^^