The whole visa situation for Thailand is a funny thing…it is pretty easy to obtain a visa for longer than the 30 days you initially receive upon entry, but must leave the country to receive it. This goes for both working visas and multi-entry tourist visas. Once we secured our teaching jobs we headed to Vientiane Laos to get our visas, and in the mean time fell in love with this country.
Most of our time was spent at the Thai Consulate, but we were able to explore some of Vientiane and cannot wait to spend more time here. It is an amazing city, while it is right on the border to Thailand it is so completely different, but it is hard to explain how. The city is located on a huge river, where much of the restaurant and night life scene overlooks. The people are the friendliest we have encountered yet and everyone is willing to help you, speak English, or just share some tips on where to go…and they are not asking for money while doing it! The local cuisine is similar to Thai food with its own spin, but there are numerous “western,” and Japanese style restaurants scattered about. After a month of rice and noodles, we were happy to explore the European restaurants and nothing disappointed…from the thin crust Italian pizza, to the Greek Salad and Gyro, I stayed full and happy.
Our trip was very short so I do not have too much to babble on about. But I would highly suggest a trip here if you are in South East Asia. And if you need a place to stay check out Vientiane Garden Hotel. It is a quaint hotel, walking distance to shops, restaurants and the river. The staff is friendly and ready to serve. They are always offering fruit or juice and are there to assist in any way…from hiring you a tuk tuk or taxi, to pointing you in the direction of a late night meal. We paid about $50 USD a night, which is considered on the high side for Laos, but we could not have been happier.
Also, on a side note…the entire city/country accepts their local currency (Kip), Thai Baht and USD everywhere. We loved that! We had some of each currency with us so were always able to take the best rate offered (some places had better exchange rates than others). Hope you enjoy some of our pictures….