I've been in Laos between March
and April 4th, 2000. I flew from KL to Bangkok on March 25th then took
the night train from Bangkok to Nong Khai, arriving in Nong Khai on
March 26th in the morning. From Nong Khai I made it to Vientiane with a
combination of taxis, getting the visa at the Friendship bridge. What
follows below are excerpts
of the emails I sent to my fiancee in KL while I was in Laos (she had
work and couldn't join me).
Saturday, KL -> Bangkok -> Nong Khai
I'm in the train to Nong Khai (the
border to Laos) right now. Tomorrow morning I'll cross the Friendship
and enter Laos. I'll go to Vientiane, the capital. I' ve just read that
difficult to send and receive emails in Laos. That's because there are
no internet companies in Laos and all cybercafes have to call Bangkok
connect to the internet. In other words they have to make an
call. I'll go to Vientiane (the
and then probably north to Luang Prabang. I'll probably stay the whole
time in northern Laos.
Sunday, Nong Khai -> Vientiane
Here is the weather forecast for
Day after tomorrow: Sunshine
Day after day after tomorrow: Sunshine
Day after day after day after tomorrow:
Last day of my stay in Laos: Sunshine
and the weather forecast
Torrential rain the whole week
Today I made it to the
about 9:30am (can't believe I got up so early). I went straight to
(pronounced 'Vieng Chan'). It's the capital, but it's a surprisingly
town with very little traffic on the streets. It's also a very small
I just walked around the
and had a look at the temples. In Vientiane I am able to send and
email because my mobile phones work (I connect with the Thai networks).
The day after tomorrow I
Vientiane and my phones will no longer work. Also, only in a few towns
there are cybercafes, so maybe I won't be able to send emails.
In Vientiane nobody
wears glasses on the streets. They only wear glasses in the offices.
the whole town there are just maybe 6 or 7 opticians and just one sells
products for contact lenses.
In Vientiane we are at the
the dry season. It hasn't rained for months and the streets are full of
dust. You get very dirty when walking on the streets.
Tomorrow I'm going to Luang
by bus. There my mobile phone won't work anymore, but I can still send
emails - just have to go to an Internet Cafe.
By the way, do you know
is a communist country ? It is called Laos PDR for People Democratic
Wednesday, Luang Prabang
Was so tired yesterday.
before I could not fall asleep, so I got up at 5:30am and took the 7am
bus to Luang Prabang. And here starts the nightmare... It was no bus,
was a truck
with a hard
bench and very little space inside. It took the truck almost 13 hours
reach Luang Prabang (about 400 km distance). An endless trip through
mountains... I thought, maybe 7 or 8
no, it were 13 hours... The funny thing is that the truck left
at 7am. By the way, the hotel where
staying is quite nice - only 10 US $ but very nice (aircon, WC + hot
towels etc.) Laos is an incredibly
and poor country. It's hard to find things to buy as there are no
Thursday, Luang Prabang
Today I was not too well.
have some flu. So I didn't do much. Tomorrow I'll visit some caves and
then I don't know. I might fly to Bangkok on Tuesday at 16.45 or I
take the boat along the Mekong to Huay Xai (two or three days), from
Xai take the bus to Chiang Rai in Thailand and from there fly to BKK.
Friday, Luang Prabang
In the meantime I have had
night of sleep (which I really needed) and woke up at 11:30 this
This afternoon I went to the Kuang
a nice waterfall a little bit outside Luang Prabang.
I have some flu - funny
on the edge to nowhere, somewhere in northern Laos, with a flu. I
have stayed the whole day in bed and avoided the sun, instead I spent
an active day and even got wet clothes at
Saturday, Luang Prabang
Today I was again in
and visited more temples and a museum. The weather is so-so, clouds but
Monday, Luang Prabang
In any case tomorrow I'll
BKK (16:45). Here in Laos it is very hot and dry. Absolutely no
Today I went again to the waterfall. I took many pictures
of locals (grown-ups + children).
In a pharmacy I saw a lot of products
against intestinal worms. Apparently this is a problem in Laos.
Tuesday, Luang Prabang -> Bangkok
I'm completely wet.... Lao New Year is approaching
of Lao kids and teenagers are organising street-blockades,
where they throw water on everybody who passes (to symbolise the coming
of the new year). It's 1.30pm now and half an
ago, while on the way to my restaurant, I passed such a street
I got completely, absolutely wet - my shorts, my T-shirt, my
underwear.... Luckily today is a hot
I should be dry again in one hour or so... (in time to catch the flight
to Bangkok at 16.45). Unless of course they throw water on me again...
Tuesday evening, Bangkok
I'm in the hotel in Bangkok
now and am not feeling too well. This afternoon at the airport in Luang
Prabang (Laos) I had to rush very quickly to the toilet. I had diarrhea
(really liquid stuff coming out). Something like this happens to me for
the first time since I have arrived to South East Asia last August. I
eaten the most weird things and never got serious stomach problems.
the food hyhiene in Laos is one level below the other countries where I
have been up to now. Probably it didn't help that for about one hour I
had wet clothes on this afternoon.
Not sure what I'm going
because it makes no sense to rush to an island (Koh Samet) for just one
night (if I have to catch the plane on Friday at 12pm, I have to be
in BKK Thursday evening). If I could catch a later flight on Friday, I
might leave the island on Friday morning.
Today I didn't do much,
the diarrhea problem (this morning the shit was liquid like water...
time this happened to me was in January 1993 in India). I just stayed
bed and took some anti-diarrhea pills. I was hoping to go somewhere,
it's just too hot outside and I need to relax.
I changed the flight to
from 12 (noon) to 17:10 (there was no flight around 3pm). I'll be in
KLIA around 20:15.
access in Laos
This is a bit out of date, but maybe
Internet access in central and northern
Laos in April 2000 was available in
- Vientiane: several internet cafes
Rates: 300 Kip / minute (1 US $
= 7500 Kip)
- Vang Vien: at least one place, "Planet
- Luang Prabang: at least
both on Photisalat Road. One is the Planet Online (close to the
bakery) and the other is Avancee Informatique (close to the
Rates: both charge 450 Kip per minute.
Comment of Henk Burgler:
At least another one
in Vang Vieng. At a guesthouse on the leftside of the mainstreet (river
on your right)
Same rates as Planet Online
Did not see internetcafes / email
services north or west of Luang Prabang.
Copyright (c) Alfred Molon 2002