Son of Return to Vientiane by ratchada

[Father Post here: Return to Vientiane by ratchada]

Well, I have been to Laos (three days in May of this year) since my last report, but since it’s been about a year since that missive I thought I would post a sort of update.

This trip started with a flight from Bangkok to Luang Phrabang, a destination I highly recommend for those who haven’t been…basically, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be/touted as: misty, high in the mountains, quaint, almost unbelievably picturesque…and it really has not changed much since my first visit there five years ago.  I also have to say, though, on the occasion of my third visit, that if you’re an action-oriented, city rat like me, it starts to get old on the third trip.  Two days is definitely enough, and that’s what I did on this trip.  Don’t even think of going to Luang Phrabang to play…you’d do better further north in those bleak Lao cities on the China-to-Thailand truck routes, and that’s only if your idea of fun is concrete block hotels, brothels, and sharing your girls with Chinese truckers.  Not my idea of fun, that’s for fucking sure.

While I highly recommend the 10-12 hour bus or van ride from LP to Vientiane at least once–I swear, some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll see on this earth, and I live in California!–I really didn’t want to deal with the winding roads and cramped seating this time around, so I flew: a very reasonable $84 one-way on Lao Airlines, on a spanking new Chinese MA-60 turboprop (perfect safety record so far for the equipment, and Lao Airlines has come a long way from the days 15-20 years ago when foreign embassies forbade their staff to fly them domestically, haha…).  40 minutes beats 10 hours any day.

Vientiane, I gotta say, is still hopping.  Despite a few backward steps (IMO), like the new 80s-style Soviet Communist flag pavilion and [mostly cement] park along the Mekong, displacing all those great drink-beer-and-watch-the-sunset makeshift restaurants (what were they THINKING?!), the city is still moving forward.

Some would criticize that forward movement and say it involves everything rising in price.  And yeah, a lot has gone up…in particular, transportation. When I first visited Vientiane some 8 years ago, a tuk tuk from the Friendship Bridge to the city center was a mere 100 baht (in those days, $2.50 US!!), the return trip 200…now they try to get 300 for the ‘to’ trip, and close to 400 for the return…and folks, these days 400 baht is like $12 US!  The horror, the horror.

Still, I gotta say, it’s kind of amusing to see the backpacker set getting all spastic about such farang transportation prices, while they think nothing of spending more than an average Lao’s weekly wage at Joma coffee for a nice big cup of coffee and a croissant, but whatever.

What hasn’t gone up in price in Laos is the beer.  I mean, shit, 12,000 kip–about $1.40 US–for a large bottle of Beer Lao? Try doing that in Bangkok at a bar!!  Laos is a cheap high, no way around it.  Decent beer, too…and if you’ve only tasted it at the Mango, trust me, it’s better closer to the source…even better still on draft.  See the following photo for the way the freelancers like to do it, 3 liters (about 5 big bottles’ worth) for 50,000 kip (about 200 baht).

Vientiane Trip Report Laos

Okay, so the bar scene…pretty much the same as last time I reported. Bor Pen Nyang (BPN), the fourth floor restaurant/bar/pool place along the river, and conveniently located two doors down from my hotel, Lao Inter-City ($35 US a night for the back rooms, a not-worth-it $55 for river view rooms, very girl friendly) is the place to go for good Lao girls (and boys) and freelancers alike, and of course lots of us white folk.  (One interesting side note, I noticed lots of gay male couples there this time, usually farang/Asian, though mostly not P4P situations, from what I could tell…there were 4-5 such
couples in there my first night!)  BPN closes at midnight, at which time everyone dutifully heads over to nearby Samlor Pub, which is packed to the rafters until its 2 am closing time.  At that point, those still up for more flock to the Don Chan disco (can’t miss it, it’s on the 3rd floor of the tallest building in Laos, a couple kilometers down the river from the main restaurant/hotel cluster).  BTW, though I’ve never done it myself, Samlor Pub is also a good place to pull girls.

Now, if you haven’t been to the Don Chan in a while–it had been six months for me–your jaw will drop at the changes there.  The tiny little black-walled box with low ceiling that served as the disco before–cozy in its best moments, claustrophobic at its worst–has been replaced by a warehouse-huge ravey kind of space, though still filled with the Thai style ‘hang your purse under the table and dance around it’ high tables that all the girls seem to prefer to a real dance floor.  Not sure how I feel about the transformation (you no longer have to leave the disco to use the restrooms, that’s a plus), but man, was it packed.  Can’t speak for how it was for pulling (there were tons of groups of Lao boys and girls out for their big night out, in fact, that might have been the majority), since at that point I was in a big group composed of my girl from BPN, her friends, and an Israeli guy I ran into who speaks excellent Lao (we used to always see each other in Bangkok when I lived there, and rarely ever spoke English to each other) and his friends.

About my girl (see photo):

Vientiane Laos Trip Report

…just like last winter’s trip–and most of my Vientiane trips, actually–she whisked me away on her motorcycle and thus provided transportation for the two of us in our bar-hopping.  She’s 25, lives at home with mom and dad, and was probably the prettiest, nicest and smartest Lao girl I’ve ever taken home.  I spotted her right when she walked into BPN and decided that it was going to be her or nobody (tall, some meat on her bones…a bit young for me, but I let that slide, haha); luckily, she returned my interest from the word go and it was GFE-land from about 15 minutes into our first conversation for the two nights I was with her ($40 US ‘gas money’ each night to her for her troubles).  I let her go the third day because, well, as those who know me are aware, I generally like my girls waaaay older than 25, and way more on the raunchy side rather than the nice side.  But she was fun.

That’s about all I have to say about this trip, except for this bit of advice: don’t bother bringing all your spending money in US dollars or Thai baht (as I used to); ATMs are convenient and plentiful in Laos now, and they only charge 1% for withdrawals (like the old days in Thailand…not this new 160 baht per transaction bullshit!!).  While in Luang Phrabang I took out 1 million kip (it comes mostly in 50,000 notes) in one withdrawal, which was $128 US, and that was plenty for all my incidental spending, dining, drinking (my hotels were paid for in advance on Agoda.com–which I also recommend–and I did have US dollars for ‘body price’ for the girls) over five days.  Also, if you’re doing the Air Asia BKK-Udorn flight to get to Vientiane (also recommended), don’t let them bully you into paying 300 baht for the return van trip from the Friendship Bridge…it’s 200, and they know it…once you convince them you know it, you’re good to go.

14 thoughts on “Son of Return to Vientiane by ratchada

  1. The beer does nothing for me but enjoy the chill factor and food of luang prabang – but I have yet to visit Vientiane . One of these days will ride the motoci from bkk to Laos .

    Thx for the write up!

  2. Great write up Ratchada thanks for it.
    Went to Vientiane about 12 years ago, I just remember a large club where all the girls were doing a uniform forwards and backwards type of shuffle. I think the club host had girls available, but it seemed hard work. Also thought it was illegal there …
    Anyways great to read this update

  3. @thaiphile: haha, yes, I’ve been in those types of places, no reason to go nowadays with the freelancer scene booming. and yes, it is technically illegal for any Lao national to sleep in the same room as a foreigner, but I’ve never heard of anyone being busted for it. it also used to be somewhat difficult to find a girl-friendly hotel, and while there still are a few unfriendly ones out there, there are plenty of friendly ones. remember, prostitution is illegal in Thailand too, haha…

  4. and yes, it is technically illegal for any Lao national to sleep in the same room as a foreigner

    LOL…

    What if you speak Lao (as you do, I dont besides “seeb illy!” hahaa)

    What if you’re Asian but from BKK or Korea.

    I’m more ranting at my love of completely inane rules where they try to define ‘native’ vs foreigners…

    Then again I live in SoCal… Good luck doing that here or most parts of the white world for that matter….

    Anyways thanks for the follow up on the original post….

  5. I have just returned from a visa run to Vientiane and confirm everything in this post. I had a great night with an older girl from BPN. I have the name and phone number of another girl which I will cultivate until I return there again.
    A very friendly place, BUT, to me it is a dusty dirty place with too many backpackers. The french food and patisseries are great.

  6. @ratchada. I have been in BPN from 24/12 to 29/12 every evening. Maybe met you.

    25/12 evening was hold a crazy birthday party. I pulled a red dressed (Xmas dressed) shaved pussy completely cockeyed. What a crazy night I had, oh mamamia…..

    I can confirm Samlor Pub is also a good place to pull girls. In the streets could also found crazy pussy. Tuk tuk drivers are also aware where to go.

    During this week I never spent one night alone. I was located at Ramayana hotel, girl friendly. Laos girl are completely amazing. Never saw so much shaved pussy.
    Maybe fashion over there. Will turn back as quick as possible

  7. @Asiana: yep, almost every one I had in 2010 there was shaved. I wasn’t there at the same time as you this trip, though: my report is based on my visit there 11/12 to 14/12!

  8. i dont think i saw an unmanicured bush in thailand in five months… heck the soup lady i picked up for shits and giggles one night was bald…. i thought that was the norm now a days no? not that i’m complaining one bit!

  9. @Bear: sorry, I do not! I’m not a big photographer of girls, haha. BTW, I did see the girl in this post once more, but the experience was less than satisfying, so I moved on. I never did run into the girl in the original “Return to Vientiane” post…

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