Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4 - Crossing border into Laos

Before we went into Laos, we had one more thing to be taken care of, i.e. visit Mitsubishi Service Centre. We were unable to open the back door of the car since Khao Lak. We saw this was the last chance to fix it. At Nong Khai, we stayed at Prajak Bungalow for TBH400. Our first choice was Mut Mee Garden Guest House along Mekong River. Unfortunitely it was fully booked. We decided to have a beer at their restaurant and enjoyed the scenaey before we went searching for our lodging. Here were couple of pictures of Mut Mee Garden Guest House I took.

At 9.00 am, We arrived at Mitsubishi Service Centre. Neo Chian explained the problem to Mitsubishi Engineers. They invited us to the showroom where coffee was served. The car was driven into their workshop. After our coffee, we decided to check it out.

The door was open!!!

They opened the door in less than half an hour! Our problem was solved. However, due to language difficulty, we cannot establish the cause from their engineers We just hope that this problem will not occur for the rest of our journey. That we will leave it to Mitsubishi Singapore to figure it out after we return.

We thanked them and took a group picture. With my instant printing setup, we presented them a color photo to show our appreciation. With the door fixed, we took the opportunity to re-arrange our boxes before we leaf the Service Centre for Laos.
What a relief!

After we left Mitsubishi Service Centre, we headed for Vientaine. But first, we had to cross Thailand imigration check point. We cleared the documentation of exporting the vehicle and our personal immigration in two separate routes. This was a picture just before we arrived at Thai immigration checkpoint.

Friendship bridge had two lanes, one into Laos and other from Laos into Thailand. Not only for cars, you notice that there is a railway track running in the middle. Not sure one-way or both-way though.

On the Friendship brigde, where the flag of two countries were flying marked their borders.

After about 2 hours we spent at the immigration and custom, we made it into Laos!

Never imagine I would travel into Laos by road. Very excited about what we had done. At this point, we have traveled 3,000 Km from Singapore. This was a picture taken after we had crossed the Laos Custom and Immigration.

While we drove into Ventiane, a policeman stoped us at the junction and signaled us to pull over to the side of the road. First, we thought that the policeman wanted to give us direction into Ventiane after asking where we were going. Then came the bad news. Using Laos language and a few words of English, finally he made us understand that we had violated a traffic offence at the junction. We were in the middle lane and we made a right turn. This is not allowed in Laos. Neo Chian and I had to get out of the car and walk back to the junction. Another policeman sat inside the hut near the junction explained our offence one more time and fined us 30,000 Kips. This was the first traffic violation of our trip.

Miss G, name we gave to our GPS, directed us to Nam Phu Square around 1 pm. There were many nice restaurants around the Square. We decided to go for French food at La Cave Chateaux, after one week of Malaysian, Chinese and Thai cuisines. We ordered a beer and "beef steak in Herb" and coffee. We asked for the bill, it came inside this beautiful little box.

After lunch, we checked into Day Inn Hotel , centrally located in Vientiane. A double or twin room costs USD40. They had only a double room left for tonight and a twin room tomorrow night. We negotiated for an extra bed, USD5, to be added into the room. Neo Chian kindly offered me the double bed. We will decide whether we want to move tomorrow. This is the first hotel we will stay for two nights. Good time to catch up our laundry! The room is clean, airly and bright, just as it was decribed in the Lonely planet. It is good value for money!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting blog and you are clearly enjoying posting the stories very much.
    I've sent an e-mail to NC regarding the last section of your journey.
    Pls read, Tks.