finy

Is Laos as bad as everyone says?

57 posts in this topic

13 minutes ago, anotheruser said:

 

The problem with that is that is not what they ask for. Can you refer me to the stories of people being robbed out of 20,000 baht at the borders?

What is "not what they ask for"?  Granted, some borders are not enforcing the "show 20K Baht" policy consistently - but others (Sadao and now Pedang Besar), are.  Airports are also doing random-checks for cash, but at least there, the security is generally ok, so those with local bank-accounts could safely withdraw in the departing airport, then re-deposit in the destination-airport - losing only the ATM-fees in the process.

I am not aware of a database of border-robberies - probably not something either country on said-border would want disseminated widely.

 

It's a foolish amount, in any case - not enough to prove you can support yourself for the 60->90-day duration (Tourist,  Ed, Non-O types), but plenty-enough to get you mugged.  In case you haven't noticed, policy-changes, including this "show cash" trick, are not really about keeping out "too poor / riff raff" or "illegal-workers," who come mostly from China and border-countries, respectively; they are not affected.  Those who clearly have far more than 20K Baht accessible via plastic (how normal people carry money, since  the 1990s) are the ones usually hit with this.

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Just now, JackThompson said:

What is "not what they ask for"?  Granted, some borders are not enforcing the "show 20K Baht" policy consistently - but others (Sadao and now Pedang Besar), are.  Airports are also doing random-checks for cash, but at least there, the security is generally ok, so those with local bank-accounts could safely withdraw in the departing airport, then re-deposit in the destination-airport - losing only the ATM-fees in the process.

I am not aware of a database of border-robberies - probably not something either country on said-border would want disseminated widely.

 

It's a foolish amount, in any case - not enough to prove you can support yourself for the 60->90-day duration (Tourist,  Ed, Non-O types), but plenty-enough to get you mugged.  In case you haven't noticed, policy-changes, including this "show cash" trick, are not really about keeping out "too poor / riff raff" or "illegal-workers," who come mostly from China and border-countries, respectively; they are not affected.  Those who clearly have far more than 20K Baht accessible via plastic (how normal people carry money, since  the 1990s) are the ones usually hit with this.

 

Well there was a thread with some proclaimed "rich" guy who wasn't able to produce 20K and they denied him entry. It seems the 20K rule only really gets applied to people that are other wise somehow suspicious. That being the case I think it does it's job to a degree. 

 

I certainly don't feel nervous carrying enough in cash for what amounts to no more than a good night out in Bangkok for example. You may be on to something though, immigration should require you to swipe your card to verify you have sufficient funds on your credit card. 

 

I would feel much safer doing it that way. hahaha

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I disliked my time in Laos, went with my Thai wife to get a Non Imm B visa.

 

Food was terrible, bland & expensive compared to Thailand.

Transport by Tuk Tuk was expensive with no alternative.

Hotels are not anywhere near the same standard as Thailand.

Market by the river was basically about 30 stalls repeated over and over again selling the same things.

No shopping malls.

Such a long queue at the Thai Consulate.

 

On the plus side I did like Beer Laos and the ease of changing money everywhere albeit not the best exchange rate.

 

I will not be returning to Laos anytime in the near future unless I have to.

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Just now, colinthailand20005 said:

I disliked my time in Laos, went with my Thai wife to get a Non Imm B visa.

 

Food was terrible, bland & expensive compared to Thailand.

Transport by Tuk Tuk was expensive with no alternative.

Hotels are not anywhere near the same standard as Thailand.

Market by the river was basically about 30 stalls repeated over and over again selling the same things.

No shopping malls.

Such a long queue at the Thai Consulate.

 

On the plus side I did like Beer Laos and the ease of changing money everywhere albeit not the best exchange rate.

 

I will not be returning to Laos anytime in the near future unless I have to.

Many people that only visit VTE or Savannakhet share your opinion. If you are over all i city person Laos doesn't offer that much. If you like breathtaking landscapes Lao has a lot to offer.

 

Agreed on the food though Lao food is pretty bad, not quite as bad as Khmer food but an honorable mention is deserved. Who can they manage to be placed between Thailand, Viet Nam and China and only manage to make terrible laap?

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A inflammatory post has been removed.

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Checked into mine Vientiane  hotelroom.went down to sit on the hotel outdoor terrace the waiter came gave me the menu and said exactly i be back in 3 minutes to take u order sir..Weird enough my innervoice told me that he would never return and he did not.So after 15 minutes i went down another restaurant next door.Laos Its frienly people but not much experienced with foreigners.

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Several baiting and bickering posts have been removed. Time to end it.

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I have been there several time... both Vientiane and Luang Prabang.   I found it really interesting and the people nice.  I also liked the food.. the local food in the cheap restaurants.... some is similar to Thai food.. and some is very spicy and lots of good flavours. 

 

At the embassy I had no problems... it was very quite, not many people.

 

If you take a few days the countryside and jungles are beautiful and you can do trips to waterfalls and all that stuff.. much better than Thailand, because they are not overdeveloped of full of crowds of people.

 

 

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I've always enjoyed Vientiane, although not quite up to Thailand standards it does have it's positives.

 

If you enjoy Beerlao, pizza and cheeseburgers you're in luck.  I've found the food to be exceptional and staying at the Best Western, while not quite up to Marriott or Hyatt standards was very comfortable and accomodating without denting your pocketbook too much.  Plenty of temples, goverment buildings and the like to explore if that's your thing.

 

The Tuk Tuks are okay as long as you communicate before you take a ride, the taxi service was fair, again ask how much before you arrive.

 

 

 

 

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On Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 11:08 AM, finy said:

Bad as in getting rejected at border of V without 20k cash or having visa declined at S without onward flight and itinerary.

 

lots of stories on here recently.

 

im already in Asia.

Don't believe all the stories you read on the internet... you don't know who's posting them and what his/her motives are. 

I've been travelling approx. 15-16 years (on and off) around SE Asia and haven't had a single problem and I've never carried 20K in cash with me either. That's a new one to me. 

My advice to you is to look up the info on the official consulates' / embassies' homepages and don't rely on what strangers tell you/post on the net. 

Good luck and enjoy the journey. 

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On 28/03/2017 at 9:34 PM, zyphodb said:

Don't forget Beer Lao, far better than anything brewed in Thailand and cheaper too..........

Beer Lao is average. I dont know why some talk it up.

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Id rather drink bourbon or single malt. Beer Lao is ok but Ive had many better.

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ID: 41   Posted (edited)

36 minutes ago, brewsterbudgen said:

Because it's better than all the Thai beers and in Laos is extremely cheap.  Nothing better than a bottle of beer Lao by the river while the sun is setting.

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   + 1. The restaurant with a huge penguin in Sawannakhet with great food and always cold beer, a duty-free shop, and some other nice places help you to enjoy the country/city. 

 

   Annoying are most of the Tuk Tuk drivers who charge ten times more than a New York cab does, including tip.

 

     

 

     

 

     

 

     

Edited by ajarngreg
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Ive done countless visa runs there from CM--the long bus ride sucks..

 

But after doing it--its ok just a pain getting to town..

 

Get your visa--avoid the taxi and tuk tuk jerks go right for

the local japanese buses to town 1usd or 30 bt--done

I always did Mixay paradise GH as was decent price and

good location--always walked or rented a bicycle to get to embassy

 

Did the visa game with 300 others in blazing heat--pretty easy

Ive always gotten double entry without showing a thing--always

 

I basically live on the bahn mi sandwiches by the bus station--dirt

cheap and will fill u up..usually  lady on street making em

 

Drink a few fruit shakes and use the 7-11 knockoffs for drinks

Beer laos doesnt do it for me so i just stick with shakes or tea

 

Eat at the street stands by the river at night--can find some decent cheap eats

 

Is $$$ as its full of visa runners and kinda boring but is ok for 48 hrs

 

First time this visit i got to stay 4 months without a VISA run--just got

my 30 at bkk airport--extended then did the burma-mae sai run--extended

 

4 months total and took me to the very last day im leaving on..done n done!

 

Also found a huge bag of weed on the ground there--but thats another story..

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WoW ... Is Laos as bad as everybody says ? ... I've only lived here for 25 years ++ ... food is good, Alcohol in general is 40% cheaper than in Thailand, beer even cheaper ... to fully appreciate Laos, you need to travel around the Country which is relatively cheap ... however, I must admit the Tuk Tuk's can be ... the most expensive form of transport in South East Asia ... nice to come back home after a trip to Thailand where the corrupt police seem to know I'm coming and pick on everything possible to squeeze a fine for me driving there ...

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WoW ... Is Laos as bad as everybody says ? ... I've only lived here for 25 years ++ ... food is good, Alcohol in general is 40% cheaper than in Thailand, beer even cheaper ... to fully appreciate Laos, you need to travel around the Country which is relatively cheap ... however, I must admit the Tuk Tuk's can be ... the most expensive form of transport in South East Asia ... nice to come back home after a trip to Thailand where the corrupt police seem to know I'm coming and pick on everything possible to squeeze a fine for me driving there ...

Is it easy to live permanently in Laos visa-wise? My wife is Lao and we have a house there, but I and my son are British. We currently all live in Thailand, but one day will have to choose UK or Laos.

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I have been to both places and got SETV from both.

Except for the lines on the days when the buses arrive from Thailand with their load of visa runners I have no complaints about either one.

In Vientiane I hired a Tuk-Tuk at the airport on arrival for the 3 days I was there and he took me everywhere. Showed up at my hotel in the morning as needed.

No complaints here.

I flew in and out of both on Lao Air because of my age ( I am 71 years old) and I have no complaints about either place.

I actually had a wheelchair on Lao Air n both places. They lifted my wheel chair into the plane by the food service entry door and I was the last person seated  on the plane.

And I actually enjoyed the Chili Dogs at the Diary Queen in the Vientiane airport.

 

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The really sad thing about Laos is that if you get out of the tourist areas you'll find the 'friendly locals' who people rave about are even more likely to rip you off, especially when it comes to food. In Thailand I've never been overcharged for something like a bowl of noodles on the street or some barbecued pork with sticky rice but in Laos you'll end up paying at least twice as much as in Thailand for simple local food and probably 4 times what the locals pay. The attitude that foreigners are there to be ripped off is obviously deeply ingrained and held by the vast majority of people.

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While not much of a beer drinker myself, agree that 'bia lao' is superior to anything that Thailand can produce. But, certainly not the best beer there is.

Also agree that Luang Prabang puts Laos on the map. Vientianne was not appealing to me, however, nor were smaller locales (e.g. Luang Namtha up in the north).

As far as visas go, preferred the nearly hassle-free Thai consulates in Malaysia (i.e. Kota Bharu) to Vientianne, not to mention their shorter queues. No hassles at the borders, either (nice getting that free 90-day stamp every time). Obviously, not so with Laos...

But, what does it matter to me now... leaning toward Bali now for retirement rather than dealing with Thailand's mercurial immigration policies...

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On 3/28/2017 at 6:36 AM, zyphodb said:

Also real wine at far more sensible prices than Thailand

hear hear. Cambodia especially, and Laos, too, have very reasonable wine import taxes. That's 2 of 3 Indochina. Not sure how expensive wine is in Vietnam or how bad it's taxed.

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On 4/12/2017 at 7:10 AM, BigKahuna said:

Asahi is better.

It is good beer. But is it cheap in Laos?

And since I haven't been in Thailand in a while, isn't it like 45-50 baht?

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On 15/04/2017 at 10:13 AM, JepSoDii said:

It is good beer. But is it cheap in Laos?

And since I haven't been in Thailand in a while, isn't it like 45-50 baht?

Beer Lao, 12 large bottles, cost about 90,000 Kip or $11.00 or 385 Baht for the 12 bots or 32 baht per bottle IF you buy it from a local shop (Hot or Cold, price is the same) ... of course if you are relaxing in an open air bar along the Mekong, expect to pay 40 to 50% more for the village of having it served to you. Large Hotels tend triple and quadruple the price ... a few years ago, "Beer Lao" was rated as the Best Beer in Asia by the Time Magazine ... so she's not too badly ... its exported to Australia these days and generally readily available .... but don't ask me the price, like most beer in Aus ... Bloody Expensive !

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BANGKOK 30 April 2017 20:01
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