Friday, June 18, 2010

Kips Don't Lie : Adventures in Laos - The Final Part

This is the final instalment of my Laos trip.

Now back in Vientiane, no longer relying on the street map and just walked around. Here's a mish-mash of pictures of places in the city.

I enjoyed the history of the Lao empire. Although maintenance is lacking, the museum worth a visit. Entrance fee 10,000 kips if I remember correctly.
In the ASEAN section, it showed that Malaysia's PM was 'Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Babawi' (sic). I wrote a short note to the Museum Director on this outdated info and informed the staff on duty as well. Then later I found out that current PM Najib visited Laos the week after!

Lao National Cultural Centre, across the road from the museum.

Ho Pra Keo, I did not enter.

Wat Sisaket.

Passing Patuxai on the way to Phra That Luang.

I think this was the Prime Minister's office complex.

The United Nations building - UNDP, UNESCO etc are all based here.

At the gates of Phra That Luang.

Statue of King Setthatirat in front of Phra That Luang

It was already closed when I reached there :( . Entrance fee applies, 5000 kips.

The gleaming stupa of Phra That Luang (The Great Stupa). The pride and symbol of Laos. At certain moments its surface catches and reflects the sunlight beautifully. I think I snapped this at the right angle or light or whatever the technical term is. It was stunning.

These are around the Phra That Luang compound where there were a few other wats.

None of the signages were in English so I do not know who/what these statues were.

Buddhas under the bhodi tree.

History of the bodhi tree from India.

This picture was taken by a local who was jogging in that area.

The tuk-tuk driver's ID and price list. You can try to bargain the rates, to maybe 60% or even half. I wasn't that bold.

That Dam in broad daylight is not as scary as it is in the dark.

Signposts for streets look like this.

Fresh fruit juices cost 7,000 - 10,000 kips. Very refreshing especially on a hot day! There are many such juice shops.

Laos was a nice surprise, especially Luang Prabang. The only thing was that I seemed to have spent more for this trip as it is not as cheap as Cambodia or Vietnam.

With this trip, my travel around the main destinations in Indo China is almost complete - only Myanmar (and I still want to go to Hanoi) remain. Air Asia just announced its direct flights to Yangon, so we'll see :)


  1. nice post on Laos. And the Great Stupa looks beautiful. Really wanna go to Laos someday.

  2. Hi Jipp

    Ya, judging on your travels I think you'll like laid-back Laos :)

  3. Ah, Myanmar. Just when it is within reach, I find myself just wanting to crawl into my bed an sleep for a long long time.

    When do you plan to go?

  4. hi, just a couple of questions:

    (1) what's a 'good' budget for a 10 day stay in Laos (minus accommodation) - since it's more expensive than Cambodia and Vietnam?

    (2) can we get the 'kips' in Malaysia or should we change it in Laos? (banks, ATMs)

    thanks! :)


  5. Hi again 'Langkau' :)

    (i) it depends really how much you want to splurge. For me, I stayed at hostels and ate simple local food. Meals can be as low as USD2-4 per meal. What you need to budget for are the entrance tickets and transport(bus), depending on what/where you want to visit. If you're on a budget I'd say set aside at least USD20 per day; USD 25-30 is comfortable already.

    (ii) I think it's better to get Kips there as it is not a common currency here. Change some at the airport (money changer) and when you get into the city you can try look for other money changers; but it's not such a big difference. And if you're heading out of VTE say to Luang Prabang, better to have your Kips in hand as the exchange rate in LP is not as good. There are ATMs in VTE and LP.

    Hope that helps!

  6. Hi Nina

    Sorry dear I just saw your comment :)

    I am planning Myanmar in mid-Oct *fingers crossed* Quite anxious with this destination compared with the rest.

  7. thanks for the advise.

    i don't usually spend that much on my travels in the 'Mekong countries' i.e. around USD10-USD15 a day (minus accommodation). a large chunk goes into entrance fees, food and of course, beers. :)

    cheers! :)