Monday, January 07, 2013

Vientiane & Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 1)

Somewhere in the middle of December 2012, the four of us went for a 5 days 4 nights trip to Vientiane and Vang Vieng in Laos. We got cheap fare from Air Asia early in the year for RM270. That is REALLY cheap because the normal fare could cost more than RM1K.

The hotels are dirt cheap too. The total cost of this trip together with expenses did not cost us more than RM1K.

Day 1 (Vientiane)
At 9:10am, we arrived in Vientiane. Weather was nice. Not too hot and not too cold and the humidity level was low. We took a cab which cost us USD5 to our hotel in town called Avilla Phasouk Hotel.

We were hungry, so we walked out to have breakfast and some Beerlao.

Beerlao @ 10:30am in the morning to wake our senses
After breakfast, we wanted to go to a mini mart to get some drinking water back to the hotel but we saw a travel agency on the way and so we bought our tickets to Vang Vieng. The cost of the trip via minibus from Vientiane to Vang Vieng is 50,000 kip (approx. USD6).

Our late lunch
Total bill together with a big bottle of Beerlao cost only 159,000 kip (approx. USD20)


We got a tuk-tuk to take us around the city and to the landmarks in Vientiane.

The boys and the tuk-tuk

Patuxai
As reviewed by Lonely Planet: Reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Patuxai is Vientiane’s most prominent monument. The name is approximately equivalent to Arch ( pátųu, also translated as ‘door’ or ‘gate’) of Triumph ( xái, from the Sanskrit jaya or ‘victory’), but unlike its Parisian namesake the Patuxai boasts four, rather than two, archways. It was built in the 1960s with US-purchased cement that was supposed to have been used for the construction of a new airport. Hence it’s sometimes called ‘the vertical runway’.

Pha That Luang
As reviewed by Lonely Planet: The most important national monument in Laos, Pha That Luang is a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. Its full official name, Pha Chedi Lokajulamani, means World-Precious Sacred Stupa, and an image of the main stupa appears on the national seal and in countless other places. Legend has it that Ashokan missionaries from India erected a thâat or reliquary stupa here to enclose a piece of the Buddha’s breastbone as early as the 3rd century BC. Excavations have found no trace of this, but did find suggestion of a Khmer monastery that might have been built near here between the 11th and 13th centuries AD.

Khop Chai Deu Restaurant
Khop Chai Deu Restaurant was apparently one of the most famous restaurant in Laos, so we decided to go there to chill with some snacks. We had:

Fried pork spring rolls - 36,000 kip
Crispy chicken wings - 32,000 kip
4 x small bottle water - 28,000 kip
1 x large tiger beer - 15,000 kip
2 x large Namkhong beer - 26,000 kip
2 x large Laobeer Gold - 40,000 kip

Total = 177,000 kip (Approx. USD23)

I really wanted to try fried crickets but they ran out of crickets. :P

Complete posts:
Vientiane & Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 1)
Vientiane & Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 2)
Vientiane & Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 3)

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