Lao where to go what to see and eat?

Things to do and places to see in Udon Thani.
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briang
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Lao where to go what to see and eat?

Post by briang » November 19, 2005, 5:26 am

The title says it all! I will be going to Vientiane in early December for 4 -5 days. If anyone has any sugestions as to what to see and eat I would be gratefull.

I like Historical/Scenic things during the day. 8) At night I like to get quietly drunk and talk B***cks :shock: , you know...Old times...In my day etc...! Till I get bored with that and have to shake a leg!! (was it mine?) when suitably oiled :oops: ! I also chomp spicy food with great gusto so if you have any suggestions for good nosh houses/Night venues over in Vientiane please let me know.

So Gents any suggestions for Vientiane? (and Nong Khai on my way back to Udon!)

The contents of this post were created under the influence of alcohol and cannot be confirmed or denied by the poster! :lol:

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BangkokButcher
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Post by BangkokButcher » November 19, 2005, 5:11 pm

I have no idea about Laos, but for your return leg of the journey, nong khai has a few establishments that would suit, namely the meeting place, the danish baker, bar nana (if you like loud music) all of which will accomodate your needs and the 1st 2 serve decent food.

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briang
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Post by briang » November 20, 2005, 4:57 am

Thanks BkB!
I have a dim/vague memory of Nong Khai from my last visit (it was my birthday and I had a long meeting with Mr Black Label :shock: ), but could not put a name to any of the places I visited. I think I went to a live music place on Prajak Rd (near the Pantawee Hotel) at the start of the evening. I think I know where the Danish Baker is, do you know where the Meeting place and Bar nana are on the Nong Khai map?

http://www.udonmap.com/images/nongkhai_map.gif

Cheers

Brian

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Prenders88
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Post by Prenders88 » November 20, 2005, 3:58 pm

Along the river front you have lots of open air restaurants, a nice place to watch the sunset over the Mekhong. Fountain Square has a few international restaurants, and lots of clubs nearby. Nazim's is the place to go if you want a good Indian curry. Vientiane is a lovely place, some say just like Thailand used to be about 30 years ago. We love it there.

Tony
Udon Thani, best seen through your car's rear view mirror.

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briang
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Post by briang » November 20, 2005, 5:54 pm

Thanks Tony,

I love a Good Indian curry. :) I found this site after 'Googling' for Nazim.

http://www.smarttravelasia.com/laos.htm

Looks like I'll love the place.


Cheers

Brian

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Post by lee » November 20, 2005, 6:25 pm

Thanks for the link Brian, plenty of information on there and one to stick in my favourites.

I have been to Vientiane several times and never really enjoyed it, on first impressions I found the food at most places a little poor, the place was dirty and I didn't really find too much to do. My girlfriend at the time thought the same as me and each time we were always glad to get back to Udon.

From looking at Brian

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Post by BangkokButcher » November 21, 2005, 1:39 am

briang wrote:I think I know where the Danish Baker is, do you know where the Meeting place and Bar nana are on the Nong Khai map?

http://www.udonmap.com/images/nongkhai_map.gif

Cheers

Brian
The Meeting Place is at map ref I4, Bar Nana is somewhere around ref E3 (I think it is part of the Thai/Lao hotel, but my memory is also a little fuzzy :oops: ) and just incase you do need a reminder of where the danish baker is, then it's I3 opposite Wat Sri Chom.

Hope it helps :)

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briang
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Post by briang » November 21, 2005, 4:30 am

Thanks again. The 'Meeting place' is even on the map, don't know why I did not see it :oops: :oops:

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Post by wokkawombat » November 21, 2005, 7:58 pm

Here is something I wrote on another forum. The information should be current.


In July this year my son visited me in Udon Thani on route from Hong Kong to home in Australia for a few months away from business pressures in HK.

After a few days in BKK doing whatever it is sons do in BKK he arrived in Udon.
He travelled by train to Udon purely to see the scenery and to mingle with Thais. He came off the train with a lot of phone numbers and a desire to never see another rice field in his life.

After a few days and nights in Udon we decided to visit Laos. There is a bus from Udon that goes direct to Viangchan (Vientiane) however take no notice of those who tell you that you can use this bus and get a visa at the border. They will not sell you a ticket unless you already have a visa for Laos. Apparently you can get a visa at the Laos consulate in Khon Kaen but we decided on visa on arrival. Weekdays US$30 and weekends US$ 31 (overtime fee) or 1500 Baht, plus either one or two passport photos.

The bus trip from Udon to Nong Khai was about 1 hour, must have been comfortable as we both slept. As the bus pulled into Nong Khai bus terminal it was chased by masses of taxi and tuk tuk drivers all wanting our custom. We ended up paying 60 baht for tuk tuk to the Thai side of the friendship bridge. Fill out TM6, get stamped and exit Thailand by a shuttle bus over the bridge, 20 baht.

Just a formality to get a Laos visa, good for 14 days, a couple of more charges of 20 baht for something and then in Laos. Just past the immigration are masses of taxi drivers all wanting your custom but nor really open to bargaining. We decided on a mini van @100 baht and went into duty free. A good range of liquor, cigarettes etc but only take US$ or baht, not interested in kip. Son bought his cigarettes and I bought a 6 pack of ice cold Beer Lao for the trip in to Viangchan. Beer Lao is an excellent beer and if it was available in Thailand would be my preferred drink.

The road into the Lao capital is the same quality as most roads in Laos, extremely poor, plus due to the French influence they drive on the wrong side of the road.

We booked into Mali Namphu Guest House in the centre of town, (Tel 856 21 215093, 856 21 263298, Fax 856 21 26397, www.malinamphu.com , malinamphu@comcast.net , malinamp@laotel.com) in the centre of Viangchan. At the time this was a good choice at US$15 per night. We booked in for 2 nights.

Viangchan was to host some sort of SE Asian ministers meeting in a few weeks so the roads that mattered were being upgraded. Not too much of a problem as we walked almost everywhere.

The hotel staff warned us against bringing Lao nationals back to our rooms as the police have a habit of raiding hotels, throwing falangs over the border and subjecting the Lao national to what could amount to a considerable jail sentence.

Viangchan had the feel of a small town not a capital city, there are a few nice bars around the Nam Phue area but it is definitely not Pattaya or even Udon for that matter. I think if we had scratched the surface a little more there would have been a bit of mongering available but as the son met a Norwegian backpacker who wanted somewhere nice to sleep he was set. It did me good to be celibate for a few days.

The Australian Embassy employees club has a clubhouse complete with pool about 4 km out of town on the road back to Thailand. Open to all but non members pay a fee of perhaps US$1 to use the pool. It is on the banks of the Mae Nam Khong and the view looking west into Thailand at sunset is great. We watched the final game of the Australian rugby league State of Origin match there. Cold Beer Lao at US$1 a big bottle, hot meat pies, a room full of Australians and Australian rugby league on the TV, sheer heaven.

We stayed in Viangchan for 2 days then flew (US$105 return) to Luangprabang from Viangchan international airport. A large concrete, Russian styled building that would not be out of place in Poland in the mid 80
Gurgle, Gurgle...

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banpaeng
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Post by banpaeng » November 21, 2005, 9:08 pm

Very good and inclusive post. Enjoyed reading it.

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Post by ctm » November 21, 2005, 11:08 pm

I've hopped the direct bus from Udon to Talat Sao a few times. You can get a visa on arrival and the bus will wait. The guy at the counter in Udon will tell you different if you ask him. Ignore him or better yet don't ask.

Returning to Udon, feel free to make a run for booze and cigs at duty free. Lao immigration is slooooooooooooooooooooooow. Usually still 10 -15 people from my bus waiting to be processed out. Especially if the bus is full. Just know what you want and make it quick. I can run over and grab two cartons of cigs and a case of beer in 3 minutes.

Saw the cutest Lao girl ever last time beaming a smile from the shop next to where I was purchasing. No time to flirt. So sad.

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Post by polehawk » November 22, 2005, 2:15 am

That was an excellent and interesting post, wokkawombat. I spent about a month working in Vientiane back in '68 and enjoyed it. Sounds like it's still as laid back now as it was then.

Last time that I visited Vientiane was in Aug. '74 on a visa run. I remember seeing a few Pathet Lao troops in the streets since it was close to the end of the war in SEA. Recall popping into the White Rose bar for a few drinks and entertainment. Quite a risque place at the time but I imagine it was closed down soon thereafter.

Beer Lao, eh? Don't remember that one but it wouldn't have mattered back then anyway. Anything with alcohol would have been just fine. If a beerdrinker from Oz says it's an excellent beer then that is good enough for me and I'm going to try one someday. :D

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Post by banpaeng » November 22, 2005, 11:28 am

Beer Lao is excellent and it is one of the best beers I have drank. Just do not get caught with it in Thailand. Had some smuggled out and took it to Bangkok and drank it at the pool of the Ambassador Hotel. Got some really strange looks from the staff and they would not even take th bottles. Took to room and deposited in garbage can and next morning they were gone. No one looked then.

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Post by Prenders88 » November 23, 2005, 11:24 pm

Beer Lao is a great beer, made to a French recipe. I wish you could get it Thailand.
The cutest Lao girl I have ever seen was a immigration officer on the Lao side of the Friendship Bridge. Spoke a few words of Lao to her while she was tapping the passport details in, she chattted back and cracked a lovely smile. Passport control on the Laos side is so slow all the passport and visa details are keyed in.
Mrs Prenders feels at home in Laos because the the food and language.
Last time I was in Bangkok I took a Thai friend to Baan Lao on Sukumvit Soi 36, first time he had eaten Lao food he was impressed.

Tony
Udon Thani, best seen through your car's rear view mirror.

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Post by lolophanat » December 6, 2005, 7:22 pm

[quote]Viangchan international airport. A large concrete, Russian styled building that would not be out of place in Poland in the mid 80

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