On 21:30 during the night time after finish working, we head to Mochit 2 Bus Terminal to buy a bus ticket of Air Udon Company, the ticket costs 423 baht, and the bus would take 10 hours ride, then we will get off at the front of Lotus Department Store, Big Jiang Branch, Nong Khai Province.
We would recommend the bus of Air Udon Company to you guys as it offers electric massage seating, drinking water, food and snack. We all have a nice sleep till we reach Nong Khai.
DAY2 : 14/12/60 Nong Khai - Vientiane
We arrive Nong Khai in the morning around 06:00 o'clock. There are Tuk Tuk car park in front of Lotus Department Store, we then catch a Tuk Tuk car and tell the driver that we will go to Thai-Laos friendship checkpoint, the ride costs 50 baht per person which takes around 15 minutes ride from the front of Lotus Department Store to the checkpoint.
The driver sends us off at Nong Khai checkpoint. Upon getting off from the car, not even cross to Laos side, one thing that you guys must face is that there would be a lot of people come to surround you and ask whether you like to hire a car or not, where would you like to travel, we offer cheap price for hiring a car, nonetheless, we are not interested in their service just yet, we would go to find some food to eat first. There is a food shop at the checkpoint selling food to order which 2 kinds of food with rice costs 50 baht per order.
After we finish our breakfast and will continue our journey to cross the border, suddenly one of our friends tell me that her passport is lost!!!!
We feel afraid, what now? Couldn't we continue our journey? Could we try to call to Mochit Bus Terminal to ask them, maybe we forget the passport there. Then we try calling Mochit Bus Terminal but the line always gets on a hold, waiting for the connection. We are busy with searching for the passport that we could hardly feel the good taste of our food.
Suddenly! the phone of one of our friends rings, it likes God helps us as the tour bus that we ride on, they say that we forget the passport bag in the bus. Yet, we have to wait until 10:00 o'clock for another bus to ride back to Nong Khai Bus Terminal to get back our passport as the bus that we ride has rode to terminal station already. And all of a sudden, we cry out Yeah! loudly with relief as we know that we could continue on our journey now.
Upon getting passport back, we now could continue our journey to Vientiane.
When we cross the border, we have to stamp our passport at our side first, after that we will buy a bus ticket to cross to Vientiane side which costs 15 baht.
The bus would depart every half an hour or it will depart once it accommodates full passengers.
After get off from the bus, we will reach the first point to enter Vientiane city. We have to stamp our passport again for inbound leg at this checkpoint together with buying one way ticket which seems like our BTS skytrain ticket.
One way ticket costs 5 baht.
They also has exchange money service here, the exchange rate on 14/12/60 that we exchange is 1 baht = 255.47 Kip. We exchange 6000 baht, thus we would get 1,532,500 Kip, they will cut out 320 Kip when we do the exchange.
Who is the billionaire, it's me of course Lol.
Now, exchange money is done, filling the immigration form is done, so we just walk through the checkpoint by using one way ticket like our BTS skytrain.
After we pass the checkpoint, there would be people come to surround us once again with the same offer, would you like to hire a car? how many people? we offer cheap price for hiring car. As always, don't talk with them or pay your attention, just say you will go by yourself and leave them. After we breakout from them, we then find a green color bus to travel to Vientiane. Just don't bother them. LoL.
A green bus which will take us to Vientiane city, it costs 6000 Kip per person and it will send us off at Morning Market of Vientiane.
It takes around 25 minutes ride to reach Vientiane market where we buy a sim card. We manage to buy a sim card of Telecom which could use 7 days, the internet signal is good and fast, cover all of the area in Laos.
After we get off the bus, there would be skylap tricycles service wait for visitors there. As we don't know how to go, thus, this time we don't have other choices but to agree to use their service. The driver takes us to go buying the ticket of sleeping bus to Luang Phrabang in the next morning, we could leave our baggages here, then he tells us again to get on a bus at this point. The ticket of sleeping bus from Vientiane to Luang Phrabang costs 200,000 kip.
After that, we go on a promenade in Vientiane city, we walk pass Jo Ma Bagkery Cafe that the travel review recommends, thus, we will stop by a bit. Yet, we would say that if possible you guys could skip it Lol. as the taste of their coffee is pretty bitter and the lemon tea is also tasteless, moreover, the price is considerably expensive which one cup of coffee costs 90 baht.
From Jo Ma Bakery Cafe, we take a walk to the Victory Gate of Vientiane which is away from here around 3 kilometers. Of course, we definitely won't take a tricycle, we prefer walking. LoL.
We continue walking till we reach our destination. Yet, the sunlight at Vientiane today is pretty strong that I feel a bit dizzy.
Finally, we reach at the Victory Gate of Vientiane.
We feel exhausted now, so on the way back, we would take a tricycle which costs 5000 kip per person.
We ask the driver to send us off at the bus stop to Luang Phrabang, then we find some Papaya Salad to eat around the bus stop. The food tastes pretty awesome.
After we finish the food, we ask them whether there is a place to take a shower or not? they take us to Vientiane Backpackers which is away from the bus stop around 700 meters by foot. The price for taking a shower costs 10,000 kip per person along with fully charge the battery of camera and mobile.
After taking a shower, we then wait for the time around 20:30 to get on the bus to Luang Phrabang. Well, as we travel in Laos, we would have to try out Laos beer a bit, a can of beer costs 6,000 kip.
From this point, there will be a car to pick us up and send us to the bus terminal to get on a bus to Luang Phrabang.
We will take a bus ride from Vientiane to Luang Phrabang around 9-10 hours. The road condition from Vientiane to Luang Phrabang is considerable bumpy with a lot of holes along the way. Therefore, as I sleep in a below seating, so it is quite hard to get into sleep.
See you guys again in Luang Phrabang then.
Total expense of day 1-2, Vientiane - Luang Phrabang
Ps. The easy method to caculate between Laos Kip and Thai Baht is cutting the last 3 digits of 0 out then multiple by 4 or divide Kip amount with the exchange rate that you do the exchange for example 6000 divide by 255, then you will get the result of Thai Baht amount.
Bus ticket of Air Udon Company, Mochit - Nong Khai costs 423 baht.
Tricycle ride, Lotus Department Store Big Jiang Branch - Nong Khai Border Checkpoint costs 50 baht.
Breakfast at Nong Khai Checkpoint costs 50 baht.
One way ticket costs 5 baht
Shuttle bus cross to Laos side costs 15 baht
Bus to Vientiane city, morning market costs 6,000 kip = 24 baht
Sleeping bus ticket from Vientiane - Luang Phrabang costs 200,000 kip = 800 baht.
Tricycle ride back from Victory Gate costs 5,000 kip = 20 baht.
Cappuccino of Jo Ma Bakery Cafe costs 23,000 kip = 92 baht.
Net sim costs 40,000 kip = 160 baht.
Laos beer costs 6,000 kip = 24 baht.
Papaya salad meal costs 12,000 kip = 48 baht
Taking a shower costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht
Total 1751 baht
DAY 3 : 15/12/60 Luang Phrabang
After we sleep in the sleeping bus that we have to stand with the shaking condition and the bus would always stop every one hours, then we finally reach Luang Phrabang in the early morning at Northern Bus Terminal. The weather is pretty cold today with around 14 degrees, when we get off from the car, our bodies start trembling with cold. As always, upon getting off from the bus, there would be a lot of people crowd round you and offer their service, do you want a tricycle? where will you go? do you want us to send you? and as always we just ignore them, we head straightly to the hostel that we have reserved earlier, we walk around 3 kilometers while carrying our heavy baggage too.
In the morning, local people would gather up to wait for sticky rice offering to the monk.
We stay at Sabai Sabai Hostel, the room price that we have booked costs 61,000 kip.
Sabai Sabai Hostel has just opened up for only 8 months, but there are a lot of guests and most of them are foreigners. We choose female dorm room with a total of 8 bunk beds inside. Bathroom and shower room is sharing, there is a pool on the top of building and they would offer a free dinner every Friday. Well! we exactly stay here in Friday, thus, the dinner is free. Moreover, the owner of this hostel looks pretty beautiful like an angle, she is very kindness and speaks politely.
The owner of this hostel, she is very beautiful, I would say.
After finish checking in the room, today we will go out to travel around Luang Phrabang.
First, we start our journey with this cafe called Prachaniyom Cafe which is located by Khong River.
I order one cup of hot Ovaltine and one piece of Deep Fried Bread Stick.
One cup of Ovaltine doesn't make me feel full, thus I would order another one bowl of Laos Rice Noodle Soup, this shop is located next to Prachaniyom Cafe.
Squeezing some lemon, then put Chili Paste and some Cow-Pea into the bowl, it will taste much more awesome.
After we are full, we will head to Tat Kuang Si Waterfall. We hire a tricycle to the waterfall, it takes around 1 hour from Luang Phrabang to the waterfall. Anyone who will travel to Luang Phrabang, I would recommend you guys do not miss out to go to this place as it is stunningly beautiful.
Level 2 - There are a lot of people swimming in this level of waterfall.
Level 3 - it is prohibited to swim in this level.
level 4 - The top level of the waterfall.
After get back from the waterfall, we head back to the hostel first, having free dinner and go out to continue walking at Luang Phrabang walking street.
You guys could bargain the price with the vendors, the price is not expensive at all and if the vendors agree to lower the price for you, they will say "Doi" which means "Ok". We notice that most of local people in Luang Phrabang would often say "Doi, Doi" which means "Yes, Ok" something like this.
Luang Phrabang Coconut Rice Cake.
Total expense of Day 3 at Luang Phrabang.
Ovaltine at Prachaniyom Cafe costs 5,000 kip = 20 baht
Rice Noodle Soup costs 15,000 kip = 60 baht.
Accommodation at Sabai Sabai Hostel costs 61,000 kip = 244 baht.
Tricycle to waterfall costs 200,000 kip divide by 5 = 40,000 kip = 160 baht.
Entrance fee of Tat Kuang Si Waterfall costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Takeaway food to eat at waterfall costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Souvenir at walking street costs 95,000 kip = 380 baht.
Drinking water costs 3,000 kip = 12 baht.
Tricycle back to hostel costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht.
Total 1,076 baht
DAY 4 16/12/60: Luang Phrabang - Nong Khiaw
After the driver at Luang Phrabang doesn't show up at 01:00 during the night time to pick us up to Nong Khiaw, therefore, as now we wake up very early so we will go to offer sticky rice to the monk instead. At first, we agree the price and appoint the time with the driver very well, but he doesn't show up, we wake up since 1 o'clock at night and wait for him uselessly, but he fails to keep an appointment, we feel pretty angry that time and with this bad experience, it makes me feel king of don't want to travel here again.
The charm of Luang Phrabang that everyone should not miss out is that waking up early to offer sticky rice to the monk in front of Wat Phu Si. If you guys come later than 5 o'clock in the morning so don't bother to come because the monks will come to receive food very early, there are around 200 monks ask for alms, you could offer the food and stop giving when the food is empty. There is a set of food offering to the monk selling which costs 80 baht with the scarf, but the scarf is required to return after finish.
Luang Phrabang, the world heritage site city.
The charm of Luang Phrabang with cold weather.
After we finish offering sticky rice to the monk, we take a tricycle to Southern Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Nong Khiaw. We have to change our plan as the driver doesn't show up, I feel angry again Lol.
Now, we bought the ticket already, the first round of the bus will depart at 09.00 in the morning or the bus will depart before time when it is full so we better hurriedly buy a ticket and get on the bus to reserve the seat, unless there won't have any seat left. The bus takes around 4-5 hours from Luang Phrabang to Nong Khiaw and the bus ticket from Luang Phrabang to Nong Khiaw costs 40,000 kip.
Upon reaching at Nong Khiaw Bus Terminal, then we suggest you guys to take tricycle to the climbing point straightly as it is pretty far to walk there.
The entrance fee to go up to Nong Khiaw costs 20,000 kip, visitor need to buy the ticket before going up, there is an officer selling the ticket at the below area. From the start point to the view point above takes around 1 - 1.30 hour climbing.
We continue climbing up, the review tells that this place is pretty easy climbing up. As for me, even I did climb many mountains before, but climbing mountain this time makes me feel moderately tired as well.
When we reach at this stone, it means we already reach at the view point.
Finally, we reach at the view point of Nong Khiaw, one of our friends takes Thailand flag to wave at Laos as well.
We start climbing up to the view point around 13:00 and get down around 16.00 in the afternoon. It takes around 3 hours climbing up and down, then we will head back to Luang Phrabang right away on the same day by the last round of the bus. Actually, you guys should tell the driver before that you will get back today so that he will wait for you as most of people who come to Nong Khiaw, they usually spend one night here. However, we take just one day trip here by traveling in the morning and get back in the evening, it is pretty exhausted this way. Moreover, the last round bus ticket would cost more expensive which is 50,000 kip, expensive than the departure leg.
We arrive at Luang Phrabang around 21:00 at night that we need to stay at the same hostel again for another one night.
Total expense of Day 4, Luang Phrabang - Nong Khiaw.
Set of Sticky Rice for offering to the monk costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Tricycle ride to Northern Bus Terminal costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht
Sticky Rice with Chicken and drinking water costs 15,500 kip = 65 baht.
First round bus ticket at 09:00 from Luang Phrabang to Nong Khiaw costs 40,000 kip = 160 baht.
Car ride to climbing point of Nong Khiaw costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht.
Ticket to climb up Pha Daeng costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Last round bus ticket at 16:00 from Nong Khiaw to Luang Phrabang costs 50,000 kip = 200 baht.
Tricycle ride back to the hostel costs 14,000 kip = 56 baht.
Stew Pork Leg with Rice costs 15,000 kip = 60 baht.
Drinking water costs 3,000 kip = 12 baht.
Accommodation at Sabai Sabai Hostel costs 60,000 kip = 240 baht
Total 1,033 baht
DAY5 : 17/12/60 Luang Phrabang - Vang Vieng.
We leave the hostel early in the morning to go to the bus terminal, we catch the first round of van at 08:00 to Vang Vieng which costs 105,000 kip. During we wait for the van to depart, we manage to eat instant noodles as our breakfast, the van ride will take around 4-5 hours from Luang Phrabang to Vang Vieng with a zigzag way and the cold weather along the way.
This view makes me forget all the frightfulness of the road that we have passed.
After the journey of 4-5 hours, we finally reach at Vang Vieng Bus Terminal, then we take a tricycle to our hostel that we have booked in advance which is Real Vang Vieng Backpackers Hostel 2 and it is located near Sakura Bar, I would say.
After check in the hostel, we don't waste anymore time and hurry to find the motorcycle renting shop to rent motorcycle and ride to Blue Lagoon and Orange Bridge in this afternoon.
We have to give our passport to them as the deposit and we need to fill the gas by ourselves, we fill the gas for 20,000 kip per vehicle and it is enough to travel around Vang Vieng.
In this afternoon, we wold go to Orange Bridge and Blue Lagoon first which are not far away from our accommodation. The motorcycle renting shop gives us the map but we still have to ask local people for the direction too.
Well, I forget to tell you guys that crossing the bridge at Vang Vieng would cost 20 baht per time.
On the way to Blue Lagoon, we find the beautiful farm view like this and this would be the charm of Vang Vieng.
Orange Bridge of Vang Vieng, we need to pay 20 baht for entrance fee, cross the bridge and will reach Jang Cave. Yet, we did not go inside as we think that there is nothing much to see inside. Therefore, I think if it is possible, you could skip this Orang Bridge, it is just a bridge, noting much to see.
We leave Orange Bridge and continue our way to Blue Lagoon. I think if you don't really want to travel to this place, you also could skip it as it is not worth entering. We need to pay 20,000 kip for entrance fee and there are a lot of tourists, especially Chinese and Korean tourists. Even though the water is clear but it smells pretty bad as they feed the fish right there so you should avoid swimming in the water as well.
We take picture just a bit and then ride a motorcycle back to take a walk along Song River among the pleasant weather during evening time. They offer the balloon ride here during morning and evening time as well but the price is pretty expensive at 70 - 90 dollars per person.
We get back from Song River and go to find Grilled Pork in Laos for dinner. I think it is better than traveling to Blue Lagoon, I am disappointed with both places, it is not like what the review tells at all.
Grilled Pork Restaurant names Peep Peeng Grilled Pork Restaurant, the food tastes adequately good or we are hungry, I'm not sure. They serve as a set, not buffet style.
After we leave Grilled Pork Restaurant, we head to the place that they say if we don't come to this place, it means that we haven't arrive Vang Vieng yet. This place is Sakura Bar and it is just around 700 meters away from our accommodation, take a little walk and we could reach the place.
Sakura Bar will be closed around midnight, they offer free alcohols from 19.00 till 21.00, customers could take the alcohols as much as they want.
Total expense Day 5 : Luang Phrabang - Vang Vieng.
Bus from Luang Phrabang - Vang Vieng costs 105,000 kip = 420 baht
Tricycle ride to bus terminal costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht
Instant noodles, drinking water and sunflower seeds snack costs 22,000 kip = 88 baht.
Instant noodles costs 6,000 kip = 25 baht.
Accommodation price at Real Vang Vieng Backpackers Hostel 2 costs 45,000 kip = 180 baht.
Renting 2 motorcycles costs 100,000 kip divid by 5 = 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Motorcycle gas costs 8,000 kip per person = 32 baht.
Entrance fee of Orange Bridge costs 16,000 kip dive by 5 = 13 baht.
Entrance fee of Blue Lagoon costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht.
Crossing the bridge fee costs 4,000 kip = 16 baht
Total 933 baht.
DAY 6 : 18/12/60 Vang Vieng - Vientiane - Udon Thani - Bangkok
Today, we wake up early and leave the hostel, then head to the same motorcycle renting shop, we rent motorcycle and ride among the cold weather to go climbing Pha Ngern during 05.00 in the morning. Since the sky is still not open while we climb up, thus, we have to turn on the flashlight and climb along, we even have to wake up the officer who buys a ticket for selling a ticket to us as well.
Pha Ngern, Vang Vieng takes around 1 - 1.30 hour walking.
When seeing this sign, you should turn left, don't turn right as it is farer, we already tried. LoL.
We have to spend 3 hours climbing up and down to get in time for the bus that we have booked earlier at 09.00 o'clock to get back to Vientiane. Therefore, we feel pretty exhausted from the climbing and hurriedly go to check out the hostel and head to bus terminal to catch the bus. We already make a booking in advance for a bus to Vientiane which costs 5,000 kip.
The bus takes around 3-4 hours from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. Yet, the bus that we take is riding very slow that we arrive Vientiane almost 14.00. Later, we must get on a bus again from Vientiane back to Nong Khai border checkpoint. We take tricycle to bus terminal to catch the same green bus back which costs 6,000 kip. Then, we do the exchange our money from kip to baht at the checkpoint.
We arrive at the border checkpoint around 16.00, there is a shower room offer for service at the back so you could take a shower before if you want and then buy a van ticket here to Udon Thani airport which costs 200 baht.
It takes around one hour ride from Nong Khai to Udon Thani.
We have booked air ticket of Air Asia in advance with the promotion price costs around 760 baht.
Total expense Day 6: Vang Vieng - Vientiane - Udon Thani
Grilled Pork meal costs 41,000 baht = 164 baht.
Renting motorcycle costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Return bus ticket from Vang Vieng - Vientiane costs 50,000 kip = 200 baht.
Crossing the bridge fee and go climbing Pha Ngern costs 14,000 kip = 56 baht.
Tricycle ride to bus terminal costs 10,000 kip = 40 baht.
Green bus back to Nong Khai checkpoint costs 6,000 kip = 24 baht.
Drinking water costs 3,000 kip = 12 baht.
Beer at Sakura Bar costs 20,000 kip = 80 baht.
Total 656 baht.
The total expense for 6 days 5 nights would be 1751+1076+1033+933+656 = 5449 Thai Baht.