" Let's age gracefully but with a new zest for LIFE "
" It is not the length of LIFE that makes a difference. It is the depth of LIFE. The depth of LIFE is living moment to moment "
For this trip, I relied mainly on overnight trains and I spent a total of five nights in the trains. In short, a slow, laid back & stress free trip from Kuala Lumpur right up to Vientiane. Along the way, I met a number of fellow Malaysians and Thais (English and Mandarin speaking) in the trains and this made my trip more interesting.
It was quite an experience when I arrived at the cross border checkpoints in Sadao, Southern Thailand and Nong Kai, Northern Thailand & Laos as all tourists had to queue up patiently to have their passports processed by the Immigration counters.
January was a perfect time for travelling to Thailand & Laos as the weather was cool and dry. For this year, Laos was experiencing a "winter" in January with a spring temperature of around 20c.
Travel itinerary: Kuala Lumpur > Butterworth > Hatyai > Bangkok > Nong Khai > Vientiane > Luang Prabang > Vientiane > Nong Khai > Bangkok > Hatyai > Kuala Lumpur
Train tickets : Rm33 + B3,176 = Rm367
KL>Butterworth-Rm33 (senior citizen)
Bus tickets : RM38 + B1,790=Rm226
Hostels: Rm114 (total)
Intha Hotel (Vientiane) - B568 + US$9 (Deluxe double bed, 2 nights)
Xayana Guesthouse (Luang Prabang) - US4.50 x 2 nights (dorm)
Food: Rm26 + B896 + 146,000kips = Rm182
Departure tax (Laos)-B40=Rm4
Exchange rate: Rm1=B9.52; B1=2,470kip, US$1=Rm3.1
Travel Highlights :
1) Butterworth & Penang, Malaysia
2) Hat Yai, South Thailand
3) Bangkok, Capital of Thailand
4) Nong Khai, North Thailand
5) Vientiane, Capital of Laos
6) Luang Prabang (a former royal capital & an UNESCO site), Laos