One last touristy stop before saying goodbye to Vientiane..we stopped by Wat XiengHuen which is very near to our guesthouse. The thing is that the more famous temples charged a fee whereas it’s free entrance for the not so famous temples but really, these lesser known temples ( to the tourist anyway) might be as interesting too and has a certain charm.
The drum tower
Statues of the Buddha protected by the Naga
Statue of the walking Buddha
Interesting Dok So Far on the roof ( indicating royal patronage)
After Wat XiengHuen, we walked down to the guesthouse, had a shower, checked out , left our luggage at the guesthouse and walked to the bank of the Mekong in search for lunch, walked into the Riverside – sorry, they don’t search lunch, Orchid Guesthouse – no, cook has gone home, no lunch too. We finally settled for noodles at Nok Noy- a kopitiam/restaurant complete with wall painting and checkered table cloth..
We had Pepsi 4,000kip/bottle,
I ordered vermicelli with chicken – it was ‘tung fun’ with lots of vegetable, cabbage, spring onion, carrot, eggs, choysum. This was tasty but slightly salty
HC had crispy noodles which looked very good ( don’t cha think ?) as tasted good too. The noodles costs 15,000kip / plate
After the good lunch, we walked back to the guesthouse, retrieved our luggage- and hailed a tuk2 to get the airport – the ride costs us 30,000 kip (~RM12) …with the breeze in our hair we said our goodbye to Vientiane …
OK, before I end this series of postings on my Laos trip, I thought it might be useful to put up some information to future visitors to this beautiful country .
The cost of things ( at that time, 1,000kip was approx RM4)
- 1.5 L Mineral water cost 4,500 ( at 7-11 type stalls) – 5,000 kip ( guesthouse and convenience shops) . 0.5L ~ 3,000 kip , or for the local bottled water 6X1L = ~ 7,000kip .
- Big bottle of Lao beer 8,000-10,000kip
- Coke/soft drink ( 280ml) ~ 3,000- 4.000kip
- Rental of bicycle in Vientiane is ~10,000kip/day and at Luang Prabang ~20,000kip ( some are negotiable, we got ours at 15,000 and 18,000 )
- Plate/bowl of noodles cost from 10,000 -18,000 kip- depending on where you eat
- Please try the yummy fruit shakes 5,000- 8,000kip
- Set breakfast of baguette cost from 20,000- 25,000 kip
- Entrance fee for temples at Vientiane is ~5,000kip and at Luang Prabang is ~20,000kip
- The guesthouses that we stayed in were rather good-clean, safe and comfortable, you can get rooms from USD8-15 .
- There are no free maps provided at the hotel /info counters- make sure u have a map ready before your trip- this will help- as most of the attractions in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are within walking /cycling distance
- Long distance buses – it will be cheaper to get the tickets directly from the bus station than the guest house/tour operators , but the maybe 1,000kip( RM4) or so difference might be justified by the fact that it includes pickup from the guesthouse.
- Tour companies – most of the prices quoted are just for transportation and doesn’t include any guides – so either do your homework before the trip or pay more for tour companies that provide guides. And do check out a few companies before you make the bookings/purchase of tickets/tours
- If there is not a big group of you to share out the cost, don’t expect that going (on your own) by tuk2 will be cheaper than joining a tour company. Check out the price before committing !
- Some of the temple have closing time –best to check out the time before your trip
- Best exchange rates are from the banks.
- The bus journey from Vientiane to Luang Prabang is really long ~ 9 – 10 hours, although the roads are good- they are very windy – but the scenery is worth it , suggest to look at going by bus from Vientiane > LP and take a flight back LP> Vientiane