Thursday 11 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (8th Day - Luang Namtha / via Boten)

Before we departed for Luang Namtha, We did almsgiving for the monk in front of our guesthouse.

Today we reach my destination, Boten, the border between Laos and China but unfortunately, the Laotian Immigration do not allow us to pass the border without getting out passport stamp. We do not have a Chinese Visa so it will be a problem returning to Laos without getting a Chinese entry stamp.

The drive from Luang Prabang to Boten and on to Luang Namtha was very much better than the first sector from Vientiane to Luang Prabang. Total distance was approx 350km, with excellent roads for about 300km. The first 100km after Luang Prabang roads were quite bad till Pak Mong but onwards the road were good.

Boten border is located inside a special administration zone managed by the Chinese. There are duty free, hotels and probably casino (we saw slot machines next to the duty free buiding) in this area. The default currency in this zone is Yuan.

Just a recap of our first sector (Kajang - Boten)
Estimated Distance - approx. 2800km till Pagoda CIQ Complex
Lowest Temperature Recorded on Car - 4'C (after Kasi junction uphill)
Longest Drive - Hat Yai - Amphawa (approx 860km in 11 hours)
1) Hat Yai - (Dad calls it - Christian Hotel) (carpark available)
2) Amphawa - Smile House 3 (carpark available)
3) Vientiane - Riverside Palace Hotel (carpark not available - roadside parking)
4) Luang Prabang - Ammata Guesthouse (carpark available - annex building)
5) Luang Namtha - Thoulasith Guesthouse (carpark available)

Lunch : Fried Rice and Fried Noodles @ Oudomxay Bus Terminal
Dinner : Roast Pork @ Luang Namtha Night Market

Hotel - Thoulasith Guesthouse, Luang Namtha

Some photos taken today

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (6th Day - Luang Prabang)

We woke up early to check into the Villa Lao Wooden House along the peninsula but to our surprise the hotel told us that the confirmed booking by could not be confirmed as he has no room available. This was a shock as we had booked with a confirmation SMS from The hotel wouldn't allow us us in and weren't too helpful as well. Now we are stuck again with room problem but fortunately, we found another hotel down the lane last night which has 2 rooms, so need need to get another 2 rooms in another hotel. We manage to confirmed the rooms in Ammata Guesthouse which was about 100m away with helpful staff, mommy did the check in while Dad and Uncle Vincent went searching for hotel. They finally found another hotel at B&B Guesthouse which is located about 2km away from our hotel. Guess we will not be booking with "BOOKING.COM" anymore in the future.

We took a drive to Kuang Si Waterfall which is located about 20km from Luang Prabang town. It has changed so much from the last time daddy was here about 15 years ago but it is still one of the best waterfall. There is a bear rescue centre within the fall compound with more than 20 Asiatic Black bears.

After the visiting the waterfall, we stopped at the butterfly park which is located about 300m before the parking area.

Daddy wanted to drive to Pak Ou cave in the north but Grandpa wasn't keen in taking the boat across and walking up the steps to the cave. We went back to the town and walked around the night market.

Lunch : By the Mekong River
Dinner : Pizza @ Coconut Garden, Sisavangvong
1) Ammata Guesthouse
2) B&B Guesthouse

Some photos taken today


Monday 8 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (5th Day - Luang Prabang)

Kung Hey Fatt Choy!!! We finally arrived in the Unesco World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang!!!

It was a long drive today passing some of the most scenic route we have traveled so far. The distance between Vientiane and Luang Prabang was about 350km with road over 1900m with the lowest temperature recorded so far at 4'C. We stopped at Vang Vieng for lunch before climbing the mountain after Kasi with a total driving time of 7 hours, arriving at Luang Prabang approx 1830hrs.

As it was Chinese New Year, we had problem getting rooms as it was pack with Chinese tourist. We could only get 4 rooms for tonight and need to check-out tomorrow for Villa Lao Wooden House which mommy booked with

Lunch : Spaghetti @ Nam Lik, Vang Vieng
Dinner : Laotian Meal by the Mekong
Hotel -

Some photos taken today

Sunday 7 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (4th Day - Vientiane)

It was a more relax day compared to the first 2 days of travelling. We started off today with 14c stroll around our hotel visiting Hor Kham and Wat Sisaket. After that we drove to see Patuxay and That Luang Pagoda before heading to ASEAN Mall and Talat Sao.

There is nothing in ASEAN Mall except for a "supermarket" which has pretty reasonable prices.

We will be heading to Luang Prabang via Vang Vieng tomorrow.

Happy Chinese New Year!!!!

Lunch : Sweet and Sour @ Talat Sao
Dinner : Loation Dishes @ Kualao Restaurant

Hotel - Riverside Palace Hotel, Vientaine

Some photos taken today,

Wat Sisaket


That Luang

Saturday 6 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (3rd Day - Vientiane)

Today was another long drive. Started off from Ampawa in Samut Songkram at 7am so we could try to arrive at the Nong Khao border by 1600hrs as Dad was worried that we could not enter the border after the offices closes at 1600hrs. Border crossing was smooth except that it took around 2 hours to process the car documents by the Laotian authority.

We were out of the border complex by 1900hrs driving on the opposite direction traffic!!! It was quite confusing at the beginning.

Temperature in Vientiane was around 19'C when we arrived.

Lunch : Roast Chicken @ Khon Kaen
Dinner : Chinese Teochew Restaurant @ Quai Fa Nga, Vientiane

Hotel - Riverside Palace Hotel, Vientiane

Some photos taken today

Friday 5 February 2016

Road Trip 2016 (2nd Day - Ampawa)

Happy Chinese New Year!!!...

This year I am doing another road trip from Kuala Lumpur to Boten in Laos. We started yesterday from Kajang at 1630hrs and currently I am in Ampawa about 60km west of Bangkok. We left Hat Yai this morning at 0630hrs and we arrived in Ampawa at around 2000hrs with numerous stops along the way.

Met up with Kaotang at Petchaburi.

Hotel - Smile House 3, Amphawa, Samuk Songkhram

Tomorrow will try to cross the border into Vientiane if it is possible if not will need to stay a night at Nong Khai before going over to Vientiane.

Lunch : Spagetti from 7-11 @ Chumpon
Dinner : Seafood @ Ampawa Floating Market
Hotel : Smile House 3, Samut Songkhram

Some photos taken today