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July 19th, Hanoi, Vietnam to Vientiane, Laos

LAOS | Saturday, 19 July 2008 | Views [784]

Goodbye Hanoi! Kyle and I are leaving Vietnam today for Laos. This is the one country that we didn’t get our visa ahead of time, since I am such a planner and preparer this makes me a little nervous. We got up and had our standard breakfast. Then we had to get our stuff together for the flight. Kyle went downstairs to talk to the tour operator about getting some of our money back since we didn’t end up getting the superior cabin on the train to Sapa. He was downstairs for a really long time, like over an hour. When he left I was almost ready to go, and he had just asked me to blowdry our shoes.

Our shoes had gotten incredibly muddy on our hilltribe trek and Kyle had washed them the day before but they still weren’t dry, and his shoes smelt horrible!! And usually Kyle’s feet and shoes never stink. So the shoes weren’t dry so I stood in the bathroom with the little blowdryer blowing hot stink at me trying to get them dry before we had to go. Kyle still hadn’t come back up and it was time to check out, so I finished packing and then went down to find him.

He was still talking with the woman who booked our tour. She was writing down our itinerary and going on and on. I saw no need to re-explain all this to us. I just thought they should give us our $40 back. So I was already frustrated with having to wait in the room for over an hour, so once I got down there I asked what was taking so long. Then I jumped the gun and got a little snippy. Later when we were walking to get some lunch Kyle told me that I embarrassed myself, and I didn’t know what I was talking about. Basically we did get what we paid for. But I still didn’t know why it took over an hour for Kyle to come to that conclusion.

We walked down the street and found a restaurant that took credit cards since we didn’t want to withdraw anymore Dong since we were leaving in an hour. The lunch was good. I ordered a Bloody Mary, which surprised Kyle. By the time we finally got our drinks we were half way done with our meal. But instead of using a bloody mary mix they actually pureed fresh tomatoes for the mix. It was so light and refreshing, I am going to have to experiment with this type of bloody mary when I get home.

We rushed back to our hotel where we caught a taxi to the airport. We were very early for our flight, and the airport was utterly dead. We tried to buy some candy at the duty-free shop but although we were in Vietnam they only took USD! I was very surprised at this, but we ended up just using our credit card. Finally we boarded a shuttle bus out to the airplane. The plane was very small, we were flying Laos Airlines on a twin prop plane. But the flight was only a little over an hour, so I wasn’t too worried. We actually were served a boxed lunch with a sandwich, apple slices, and a small cake. The flight was uneventful except for boarding the plane. Our carry-ons were too big to fit in the overhead compartment so Kyle was trying to find a place for them. While this was happening I was standing across the aisle waiting. An older Asian woman, came up and gave me a death look, and motioned quite aggressively for me to move out of her seats. It was incredibly rude. But I just moved out of her way and had Kyle hurry. Later when I told him about it he said I should have said something to the woman, but I just got scared and moved out of the way. She could have waited a moment before freaking out on me.

(Kyle) The plane ride was without incident. There was a lot of beautiful scenery to look at though. The mountains and rivers are amazing. We landing and departed the plane on set of stairs that they wheeled up to the doors.

We hired a taxi to get into the Vientiane town center and found a decent little guesthouse. Nothing much to brag about but it was clean, no windows. We decided to head out to Green Discoveries (an adventure travel agency) before we showered up for the night. Of course once we arrived there the placed closed hours earlier than normal. It was kind of odd though. We could kind of see inside and they were eating food and there were girls inside dressed in the traditional dress and hair.

Well anyways, we wenr back to the room showered and went out to dinner. The restaurant we ended up at was on the riverfront and they had live music. The live music was two Lao guys playing the acoustic guitar and singing classic American songs. It was actually pretty good music.

We had chips and salsa, some kind of burrito, a couple beers and then went back to our room for some needed rest. We knew that we were going to have a long day on the bus tomorrow and we would need some rest.


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