We spent a week in Vientiane exploring the city and preparing for the rest of our time in Laos. Not too many stories to tell here. The highlights of our stay were crossing the border, extending our VISA, and discovering the French influence unique to this area.
We cross the border with no issues. I heard stories of 3 hour waits and observed another couple being turned away at the border. Our experience was very easy and quick. Virtually no delays and no difficulty. We were bused across the border and then after paying 35$ for me and 30$ for Michel entered the country with a 30 day stamp.
Once settled in we ran into one of the French gentlemen we had met on our trip from Bangkok to Chang Mai. We spent an evening with him and another man from Greece talking politics and eating good Vietnamese food.
There are stands everywhere in town where you can stop to get a delicious fruit smoothie. In the evening stroll with all of the locals on the boardwalk next to the Mekong. No problem finding a French speaking Laotian or a tasty baguette traditional here. We enjoyed Cafe au lait and croissant in the mornings too. The French colonization of years ago has made a permanent mark.
Tourism is increasing in Laos and opportunities for business as well. I read information about a program for foreigners to open businesses here with 10 years tax free and 8 percent tax after that. Watch out Laos is growing!
We rode bikes to locals temples and in town to run our errands which included extending our VISA another 30 days. A remarkably easy process. We went to immigration, filled out a quick form, paid 63 dollars for me and 3 dollars for Michel (over 65), returned the next day and picked up our passports. There were people in immigration who helped us with each step. Wish things were going that easily getting Michel’s two year okay to be out of the US from our own immigration….heavy sigh
A quiet peaceful time as we prepare to move north to Vang Vieng and beyond.
Categories: Laos travel