Off the beaten path, but tourist-friendly.
I was in Vientiane, the capital of Laos, for a few days on a visa run. So I won’t claim I really saw Laos, but Vientiane was cute.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how organized the process was. Tedious! But organized (despite the long lines).
I took a train from Bangkok to Nong Kai, and then took the Friendship Bridge into Laos. One could fly, but I was in broke teacher mode. #$avethatmoney
You get a visa on arrival at the bridge, then hop a ride (me: shared open truck, because, #$avethatmoney; you: probably taxi) for about 1 hour to Vientiane. Prepare to spend a full day at the Thai consulate, where you will reset your 90 day entry visa for Thailand.
The visa-renewal experience for Thailand was always a funny one…
Will my paperwork be approved?
Did I sign everything correctly and bring all the right documents? (It ain’t in English…)
I was tickled by their money collection process at the visa window. The agent would fill the bucket with money until it was full, at which point she moved it over slightly and started a new bucket. A guy would come in periodically to take the full buckets for counting… meanwhile we are thisclose to buckets of money ???
America would never. LOL.
Vientiane was a lovely host though for my visa madness. Roaming the streets and seeing the collision of East-meets-West (the city is heavily influenced by French colonialism) was trippy. Lots of temples next to colonial-style buildings…tons of French cafes and restaurants. Gotta love imperialism!
(photos by me)