Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lao (12 - 19 Apr 2016)

Updating in progress





Resources
- http://hobomaps.com/
- http://tourismluangprabang.org/
- theconfessionsofatraveladdict

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KUL - VTE flight SGD 163.08
SIN - KUL SGD 71.90
*overlooked the processing fee of SGD16 per booking


Lao Skyway is 499,000.00 ₭ (USD$61.78 or S$90.54) while Lao Airline is USD$123.55

Accommodations:
- Luang Prabang at Kounsavan Guest House at US$6.90 per night
- Vang Vieng at Pans Place Guesthouse at US$4.90 per night
- Vientiane at Dream Home Hostel and Swimming Pool at US$7.00 per night
*Prices according to Hostelworld

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11 Apr 16


Departing Changi


Night sky


Quick nap at the Satellite building area

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12 Apr 16 - Luang Prabang


AirAsia AK 552 to Vientiane


In flight meal: RM16 (Chicken rice combo) + RM6 (Coffee)




Arrived at Wattay International Airport






The domestic airport is separate from the International Airport terminal

Changed my money at the rate of USD$1 to 8104₭


Check-in




Level 2 of the domestic terminal


Chicken noodle soup with iced coffee


Rice cooker in the toilet?


Boarding time


Lao Skyway Xian MA60 turboprop-powered airliner

Lao Skyway Xian MA60 turboprop-powered airliner - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Inside the aircraft: It feels like the same aircraft I had with Air Koryo to North Korea


Snack and drink included




Arrived at Luang Prabang International and Domestic Airport




Broke my camera again


Kounsavan Guest House


Wat Mahathat




Waterproof bags for sale


Same goes for waterguns


Songkran Pimai waterfestival


Royal Palace, Haw kham, ຫໍຄຳ

Haw Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

360


Haw Prabang


Statue of King Sisavang Vong


The museum requires visitors to keep their belongings in the lockers provided. Photography is not allowed inside.


Shooting each other with water guns


Bamboo bridge


The bamboo bridge over the Nam Kahn River is only available during the dry season; because during rainy season, the current will be too strong.




Bamboo bridge








Splash!


#Meow #Cat #Kitty


Lunch


Setting up of the night market


Panoramic view from the Mount Phousi


That Phu Si



Mount. Phousi/That Phu Si, Luang Prabang, Laos - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Mount. Phousi/That Phu Si, Luang Prabang, Laos




Night market

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13 Apr 16 - Luang Prabang


Photo booth with printers at Market fair "Lolat"





Market Fair “Lolat” set up on the main street between the old stadium and the Royal Palace. The fair includes a traditional textiles show, local and provincail products. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Market Fair “Lolat” set up on the main street between the old stadium and the Royal Palace. The fair includes a traditional textiles show, local and provincail products.






Kaysone Phomvihane Monument






Phosi Market






Mini van (return trip) to Kuang Si waterfall for 35,000₭


Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre


Taking a leap into the water


Kuang Si waterfall - it was said to be a "must-visit" destination in Luang Prabang. However, I felt that it is overrated; there are too many people, and too many trash. The water is not as clear as I expect it would be. There is a climb to the top of the waterfall which can be quite challenging because you will need all your four limbs for the climb and descend. The view from the top is not exactly fantastic, while there is another viewpoint at the mid of the fall (but with a more dangerous route).


Beer Lao Music Zone Water Festival


Fire hose used for spraying of water (at a frequency of about 30min intervals)


Foam party




360 shot




It is suprising that the party actually ended quite early at about 8pm


Night market

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14 Apr 16 - Luang Prabang




Morning market


Wat Mai


Hazy condition


Wat Xieng Thong






Sand stupa




Shooting




Gong for the opening ceremony for the parade




Monk












One of the seven participants of the Miss Lao New Year, Nang Sangkan, watering the Buddha image for blessings at Wat Xieng Thong.


Problem of tourism


More water splashing










The "15,000₭" buffet: get a bowl and fill as much as possible. The dishes are mainly vegetables and no meat.


Revisited the Beerlao Water Festival, but their pump was down


Luang Prabang Stadium


Walk to the bus station


Bus station


Night bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng for 160,000₭. Booked through a tour agent in the main street area even though the price would be cheaper if purchased from the bus station directly. Not taking the risk since it is the festival season and I may not get a slot.






Source: Tourismluangprabang. There was a range of activities for the Lao New Year celebration in Luang Prabang.



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15 Apr 16 - Vang Vieng


Arrived Vang Vieng at about 3.30am, was lucky to align near my hostel








Rented a bike for 20,000₭ from the guest house. The seat was hard and extremely uncomfortable for the 7.8km ride to Blue Lagoon & Tham Phu Kham Cave and not forgetting there's a return journey.






Blue Lagoon & Tham Phu Kham Cave are over-rated.

Poukham Cave, Vang Vieng, Laos - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Poukham Cave






Preparing the hotair balloon




Aerial view







Spending a sunset on a hot air balloon over the skies of Vang Vieng. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Hot Air Balloon ride for USD$80 #Theta360




Nam Song river


BeerLao water festival












Darts is the common game around the area


Fun fiar




Sakura Bar




Saw the girls from the BeerLao water festival again



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16 Apr 16 - Vientiane




Did not booked any transport from Vang Vieng to Vientiane; so I went to a local bus station to get a mini van at 50,000₭.




Pitstop from Vang Vang to Vientiane. The shop feels like DPRK, North Korea. Now it makes me miss the DPRK trip.


The minivan stopped at the Northern bus station North of the Wattay International Airport. There is a need to take a tuktuk (20,000₭) to the central area.


When GPS can't work well, it's back to basics.




Foam party


BeerLao water festival




Chilling by the Mekong river and in the river with Thailand just at the opposite




Sand Art










ອານຸສາວະລີເຈົ້າອານຸວົງ Chaoanouvong Statue


Presidential Palace


SPY Lao party at Nam Phou Fountain




Ketsirin Gapby Thongneam from Bangkok

SPY @ Nam Phou Fountain, Vientiane, Laos (16 Apr 16) - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA





Dance item












Venus Baroque

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17 Apr 16 - Vientiane

Vientiane


Dimsum breakfast


Lao National Museum


That Dam (Black Stupa) ທາດດຳ


Patuxai (Victory Monument) ປະຕູໄຊ




3,000₭ to go to the top












Wat That Foon


Patuxai (Victory Monument) ປະຕູໄຊ at night


Bowling centre








The statue of King Fa Ngum at Fa Ngum Park ສວນເຈົ້າຟ້າງຸ່ມ


Wind West Pub had live music performance. But the price of the drinks are about 5 times more expensive.

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18 Apr 16 - Vientiane








ວັດທາດຫຼວງໃຕ້


Phat That Luang ພຣະທາດຫຼວງ (admission 5,000₭)


Wat Thatluang Neua


King Setthathirat


Ray's Grille


Blackout during a thunder storm




Wind West again



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19 Apr 16 - Vientiane






Changed my money back at the rate of 8140₭ to USD$1


Check-in with an upgrade to front row "Hot Seat" for USD$12 and Airport Tax of USD$3

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The Unitel SIM card was 70,000₭ (SGD$11.74) for a 7-days usage was purchased at the Wattay International Airport (Vientiane)


Total data usage: 655MB

More pictures:
- Luang Prabang (12 - 14 Apr 16)
- Vang Vieng (15 - 16 Apr 16)
- Vientiane (16 - 19 Apr 16)