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 teacher mode. #savethatmoney
You get a visa on arrival at the bridge, then hop a ride (me: shared open truck #savethatmoney; you: probably taxi) ~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 loling at their money collection process at the visa window…she just filled the bucket with money, and then when it was full she put it to the side and started a new bucket. A guy would come periodically to take a bucket 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. Gotta love imperialism!
(photos by me)