Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thailand & Laos 2011

" LIFE after retirement gives you a wonderful opportunity to live LIFE again " 

" 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 " 

" My 9 days solo visit to Northern Thailand & Laos (8 - 17/1/2011) - border crossings by trains & buses from Malaysia to Thailand & Laos via the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge, 25 km east of Vientiane; a bureaucratic, challenging but interesting trip "

Laos is the number nineth Asean country I visited thus far. Asean currently has 10 member countries in South East Asia (ie Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Phillipines, Indonesia & Laos). The only Asean country I have yet to visit is Myanmar - this I will probably do so in the near future.

Luang Prabang ( former royal capital of Laos ) is in the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1995 and this had driven me to visit this mountainous northern town in Laos - a 10 hour treacherous bus ride from Vientiane (380km) ! Rural poverty still permeat in most part of Northern Thailand and Laos as I travelled to their country side.

For this trip, I relied mainly on sleeper 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 sping temperature of around 20c.

Total expenses incurred in Thailand & Laos (9 days): Rm953 (Euro$220)

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)
Hat Yai>Bangkok-B855
Bangkok>Nong Khai-B688
Nong Khai>Bangkok-B688
Bangkok>Hat Yai-B945
Bus tickets : RM38 + B1,790=Rm226

Butterworth>Hat Yai-Rm38
Hat Yai>KL-B450
Vientiane>Luang Prabang-B600
Luang Prabang>Vientiane-B580

Hostels: Rm114 (total)
Intha Hotel (Vientiane) - B568 + US$9 (Deluxe double bed, 2 nights)
Xayana Guesthouse (Luang Prabang) - US4.50 x 2 nights (dorm)
Tut-tut-B160 Sundries:B570=Rm60
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, Southern Thailand

3) Bangkok, Thailand

4) Nong Khai, Northen Thailand

5) Vientiane, capital of Laos

6) Luang Prabang ( former royal capital & UNESCO site), Laos

The eco-friendly attap houses in Laos country sides are hardly seen in Peninsula Malaysia these days

The secrets of life : You can't stay young forever, but you can be immature for the rest of your life

1 comment:

  1. Fren could please kindly email me the contact for Winter Flower Resort????
    Many Thanks!