Thursday, 17 January 2013

Vientiane trip – Prologue

After I have read 2 bloggers personal experience about travelling to the 11 countries in South East Asia, I decided to set a goal on visiting the 11 countries too. Out of the 11 countries, I have yet to visit Laos, Brunei, Myanmar, Philippines and East Timor.

Although Laos airline flies direct from Singapore to Vientiane, the cheapest way is fly from KL by Air Asia as it is the only budget airline flying to Vientiane. In the past, Air Asia flies 3 times weekly to Vientiane but it has since increased it's frequency to daily flight from May 2012.

I was planning where to go for weekend trip and Air Asia was having it's 11th birthday sale. A round trip ticket from KL to Vientiane cost RM148.22 ~ S$56 which is so tempting. I decided to fly to Vientiane for a weekend trip since Vientiane is doable within a day or two. I mentioned in previous entry that the $16 convenience fee can be saved by paying through e-nets for Air Asia flights. For flights not commencing in Singapore, the currency will not be in Singapore Dollar. This can be done by changing the currency to Singapore Dollars before booking the flight.

Then I have to source for flight from Singapore to KL. The flight from Singapore to KL $102 which is twice of the fare from KL to Vientiane. I booked Tiger Airways flight as it's cheaper than Air Asia. I have to book a night at KL LCCT Tune hotel as the flight to Vientiane is 7.35am and the first flight from Singapore only land at KL LCCT at 7.30am. One night stay cost RM 149.64 ~ S$62 without those add on. This trip comprise of me, Cai Ying (my colleague), Baoxian & Hui Ping (my nieces). However, my colleague pulled out at the last min as her father perceived Laos to be a dangerous country. I feel sad that people have such perception of Laos. =(

Laos is the only landlocked country and one of the poorest country in South East Asia. The French used to say "The Vietnamese plant the rice, the Cambodians watch it grow and the Laos listen to it grow". Lao people are renowned for their laid-back nature and generally live a much slower paced way of life than those in surrounding countries.
Map of Laos (Source: Lonely Planet)

There are 3 seasons in Laos. The dry season runs from November to March and is the coolest period. There is minimal rainfall and temperature can drop to 15 degrees. I went to Phnom Penh in January 2 years ago and the temperature is quite cooling but get scorching hot in the afternoon. Hence I don't expect the weather to be cooler than Singapore!

Although Vientiane is the capital of Laos, it ain't as popular as Luang Prabang, a UNESCO world heritage city. It would take at least a week if I want to include a trip to Luang Prabang and other cities, I shall leave this for my next visit.

I booked a night accommodation at Auberge Sala Inpeng and the standard room cost US$30 ~ S$37 a night.  It's location is great and is easily accessible to the Mekong riverside, attractions and night market.

Itinerary for this trip:
Day 1: Arrive KL @ 9.40pm and stay a night at KL LCCT Tune Hotel
Day 2: Arrive Vientiane @ 9.10am (GMT+7), Lao National museum, COPE visitors centre, Haw Pha Kaew, Wat Si Saket, Presidential Palace, That Dam, Pha That Luang, Patuxai, Night market at the Mekong river bank
Day 3: Depart Vientiane @ 9.45am (GMT+7)

Budget for this trip is US$100:
- US$20 for accommodation
- US$10 for transport 
- US$5 for admission fees 
- US$40 for meals 
- US$25 for shopping & massage


2 comments:

Betty and Ling Shing said...

Waiting for your sharing on Laos.

Tommy Green said...

Hi,

We were also looking for a destination that is doable for a weekend trip.. :)

Look forward to reading your review of Vientiane.. :)