Bye bye Thailand, Sabaidee Laos!
Squeezed out of our bed and our hostel early in the morning to catch our flight from Don Mueang to Luang Prabang.
Quick travel tip – there is a free shuttle bus from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang Airport on the second floor, you just need to have your flight tickets at hand. The shuttle took a couple of hours, there was a bit of traffic, but mostly because we had to cross about 6 checkpoints on the way…
Don Mueang Airport is a bit smaller, however the international terminal seems quite new, only a few years old, so it is very comfy.
Upon arrival into Laos we have noticed that the humidity is much lower and the temperature is a few degrees colder, still in the 30s though, which was very refreshing for us. The immigration procedure took about an hour, 31 dollars fee for a Visa on arrival is fine. We made a mistake getting a sim card with the first kiosk, overpaid quite a bit…. Live and learn, right.
After a 7 dollar or 50k kip taxi to our hotel, our immediate feeling was that this is very different to Thailand. Traffic is much slower here, people are cycling instead of riding a scooter, the roads are wider, and the whole place has a small village feel to it.
Our hotel is very decent, but shortly after checking in we went for a walk. We exchanged our remaining baht to the local kip and went for some street food at the night market.
So far we love Laos, everyone is so happy and nice here, kids and monks smile and say hello, Street food is awesome and super cheap, the Mekong river is beautiful…
Can’t wait for the next few days.
Ps. We are thinking of visiting an elephant sanctuary, however after reading up on it we feel we maybe shouldn’t. Laos is called the “Land of a million elephants” however in reality there are only a few hundred in the wild now, and less than 1000 in total, including the ones in captivity. Most of these sanctuaries are still cruel to the animals, riding them, bathing them, etc is considered inhumane treatment. We will have a chat tomorrow with some of these sanctuaries and see if we can find a real one.