finy

Is Laos as bad as everyone says?

57 posts in this topic

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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On 14/04/2017 at 11:27 AM, brewsterbudgen said:


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.

Sorry for the late reply ... there are rules .... and there are rules ... The Government (Like most Governments) aren't too keen on people just moving to Laos and bumming around to speak, visit enjoy and move on generally speaking, however, set up a small business, even in your wife's name (as I have) and she has the right (If you work for the business) to organise and official 1 year Multi Entry Visa, Work Permit and ID Card, all for $530 USD (Official) ... expensive to some, but for being able to stay in this Country for piece of mind, its cheap. I've seen mention of people claiming to get ripped off in the Country areas ... that's news to me ... its generally cheaper ... I work from the north to the south of Laos, and from east to west, and apart from owning 7 boats, have travelled on probably 20% of all its rivers, including the Mekong from Cambodia to the Golden Triangle ... yes, towns that have floating restaurants and alike, can be expensive compared to inland restaurants but isn't that the same problem if you eat on Chao Phrya ??

 

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2017 at 4:00 PM, British Bulldog said:

Sorry for the late reply ... there are rules .... and there are rules ... The Government (Like most Governments) aren't too keen on people just moving to Laos and bumming around to speak, visit enjoy and move on generally speaking, however, set up a small business, even in your wife's name (as I have) and she has the right (If you work for the business) to organise and official 1 year Multi Entry Visa, Work Permit and ID Card, all for $530 USD (Official) ... expensive to some, but for being able to stay in this Country for piece of mind, its cheap. I've seen mention of people claiming to get ripped off in the Country areas ... that's news to me ... its generally cheaper ... I work from the north to the south of Laos, and from east to west, and apart from owning 7 boats, have travelled on probably 20% of all its rivers, including the Mekong from Cambodia to the Golden Triangle ... yes, towns that have floating restaurants and alike, can be expensive compared to inland restaurants but isn't that the same problem if you eat on Chao Phrya ??

 

Seems like the Lao government is OK with westerners "bumming around" because there seems to be a large number of long-stayers in Laos not really doing very much living on visas-on-arrival then extending them (I believe it's possible to extend a one month visa on arrival for up to 3 months) then they do a visa run and repeat. Lots of complaints by Lao based "expats" complaining about the new Thai rules preventing them from doing land border runs more than 2 times a year without applying for a Thai visa.

 

One day in the not too distant future, the Lao government too will start cracking down and forcing these westerners to either get a proper visa or ship out.

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On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 10:04 AM, JepSoDii said:

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.

Wine sold in Laos doesn't seem to be any cheaper than in Thailand in my experience. Not long ago, I used to drive to Laos regularly on business and would always buy a bottle or two of wine at a wine shop in Vientiane before heading back to Thailand but then realized that the cheapest wines sold there were going for 400 Baht, whereas in Thailand you can purchase a cheap bottle of Aussie wine from as little as 199 or 219 Baht at Tesco Lotus. I stopped purchasing wine in Laos once I realized this.

 

On the other hand, wine in Cambodia is definitely cheaper than in Thailand and ditto for Vietnam.

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On 4/19/2017 at 4:00 PM, British Bulldog said:

Sorry for the late reply ... there are rules .... and there are rules ... The Government (Like most Governments) aren't too keen on people just moving to Laos and bumming around to speak, visit enjoy and move on generally speaking, however, set up a small business, even in your wife's name (as I have) and she has the right (If you work for the business) to organise and official 1 year Multi Entry Visa, Work Permit and ID Card, all for $530 USD (Official) ... expensive to some, but for being able to stay in this Country for piece of mind, its cheap.

 

That's not too expensive for a 1-year visa.  A Cambodian 1-Year ME with work-permit is only about $100 less (wife not required).  But I understand getting permission from the Lao government to marry that Lao Wife can be quite expensive and troublesome.

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Sorry for the late reply ... there are rules .... and there are rules ... The Government (Like most Governments) aren't too keen on people just moving to Laos and bumming around to speak, visit enjoy and move on generally speaking, however, set up a small business, even in your wife's name (as I have) and she has the right (If you work for the business) to organise and official 1 year Multi Entry Visa, Work Permit and ID Card, all for $530 USD (Official) ... expensive to some, but for being able to stay in this Country for piece of mind, its cheap. I've seen mention of people claiming to get ripped off in the Country areas ... that's news to me ... its generally cheaper ... I work from the north to the south of Laos, and from east to west, and apart from owning 7 boats, have travelled on probably 20% of all its rivers, including the Mekong from Cambodia to the Golden Triangle ... yes, towns that have floating restaurants and alike, can be expensive compared to inland restaurants but isn't that the same problem if you eat on Chao Phrya ??
 

How easy was it for you to marry your, presumably Lao, wife?

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On 30/03/2017 at 3:10 PM, 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?

I was robbed in Langkawi just after leaving by ferry from Satun and I only had taken the 20,000B out to show when I went back. Didn't go back for over a year then as it happened and when I did go back they didn't ask to see it at Pedang Besar. So yes, I lost 20,000 specifically due to that regulation, thanks.

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No, is Phuket as bad as everyone says?

Is Pattaya as bad as everyone says?

All such questions are dumb questions.

Never pay attention to what "everyone" says, because most peoples opinions are crap anyhow.

Find out for yourself by having your own experience.

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BANGKOK 20 July 2017 23:54
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