Kataline's Laos Info

Sep - Oct , 99

'99 info was provided with the help of Kataline.
All our thanks

Currency Exchange summery
18 Sept, 99: $1= 8630 kip, 1 Baht =217kip at Lane Xang Bank, Huay Xai
21 Sept, 99: $1= 5800 kip, 1 Baht =130 kip Lane Xang bank, Luang Prabang 28 Sept, 99: $1= 6323 kip (8000 on the black market in Vientiane)
13 Oct, 99: $1=7900 kip - official bank rate in Pakxe

Border crossing from Thailand
Chian Khong
boat 20 Baht to Huay Xai in Laos.

Huay Xai
Hotel/GH: 25 000 kip - single room with. cold shower & toilet inside.
Transport: Boat to Luang Prabang
Speedboat 800 Baht , 6 hours
Slowboat 72000 kip 2 days overnight stay in Pakbeng.

Pakbeng
Hotel/GH: Bounmy Guest House 10.000 kip/ double shared toilet and shower Not rec. . Sign at port says "100 meter" is much more far. Mosquito net with huge holes. During night thieves go around take things through the window or go into rooms. There are other guesthouses in the village.

Luang Prabang
Exchange: Dollar on the black market 7000 kip
Hotel/GH: Phonethavy Guest House recommended near to the market(SW from the market) . 15000 / double with toilet & cold shower. Friendly owner says will be hot water price might be higher.
Sights:
Kuang Si Falls entrance fee 2000 kip. Transport Jumbo 7 people 11 000 kip/ each.
Weaving village not too interesting transport jumbo 4 people 2500 kip/each.
Internet: Email in Luang Prabang 10 minutes 2 usd !!!

Bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
Bus ticket to Phu Khun (the junction of road No 13 & No. 7) 15000 kip
To go to Phongsavan from Luang P. takes 3 days with north route. Road No 7via Phu Khun is closed, no buses.
Phu Khun - Vang Vien 14 000 kip.
If you don't get off at the junction of Phu Khun, you can go directly from LP to VV with 25 000 kip

Vang Vieng
Hotel/GH: guest house 15 000 / double bathroom inside.
Attraction:
Tube riding in the river: rent-a-tube 1000 kip (starting price 1500 kip) jumbo takes you to the 1 hour-point costs 1500 kip/person 4 people in the jumbo.
Rent-a-bike 4000 kip/day
Cave at VV resort (where there is a pool ) closes at 5pm. Last admission around 4 or 4:30 pm as the guy at the entrance feels.
Transport: Bus to Vienchan 6 am and 1pm 5000 kip. Jumbos go frequently whenever they fill up (every 20-30 minutes) 6000 kip.

Vienchan
internet:
PlaNet 30 minutes for 100 Baht.
Other place, on the same road near the fountain charges 900kip/minute, offline: 300kip/minute
Hotel/GH: Savaydee Guest House (next door to PlaNet internet Cafe) dormitory US$2/person. Bathroom clean, lockers (big backpack can fit in) Malaria pill: You can buy Lariam in Vienchan, but very expensive: 8 pills for 2000 baht
Sauna at Wat Sok Pa Luang 5000 kip takes long time to heat up. Can get busy in the afternoon.

Bus from Vienchan to Pakse
Bus to Tha Kaek direct bus around 6 am 12000 kip. Other buses that start later and pass by Tha Kaek (goes to Savanakhet) costs 15000 kip.
Tha Kaek no cheap accom. 30000 kip/ double with shower/toilet inside
Many noodle shops, 1 "restaurant" . Freezing aircon, higher prices, wrong info on buses
c
Bus from Tha Kek to Pakse in the afternoon. Buses to Savan 8 am .
From Savan to Pakse direct buses 2/day 6am and 4 or 5 pm 17000 kip
Our bus was scheduled to leave at 5 pm but left 4:10 pm
c..
Between 11 am and 4 pm there were no passing buses at the Savanakhet bus station going to Pakse.

Pakse

Hotels/GH:
Hotel Pakse,
under reconstruction.
Hotel Phonsavan. different rooms for different prices 15000 - 50000. Istayed in a double for 20 000 kip/ room shared toilet & shower. Not nice.
Internet cafe will open soon. Sign at Phonsavan GH

Transport: From Pakse to Dong Khong
boat 15000 kip 8-10 hours crowded uncomfortable journey thought nice scenery .Have to take jumbo from the western side of the island (where the boat lands) to the eastern side (where the guesthouses are)
BOATMEN CHEATING asking 20 000 or 30 000 kip
TAKE THE BUS instead 13 000 kip including the short ferry ride from the mainland to Dong Khong. New nice road takes 3 and1/2 - 4 hours only.


Dong Khong
Hotels/GH: approx 5 guest houses 15-20-25 000 kip/double
Transport: Boat from Dong Khong to Dong Khon 8000 kip/person if there are at least 9 people.
ON THE WAY DOWN< YOU CAN ASK THE BOATMAN TO STOP FOR HOURS AT BAN NAKASAN from where you take a tuk-tuk (8000 kip / person to go and back if you are at least 5 people) and you can visit the waterfall (2000 kip entrance fee)

Dong Khon/Don Det
Hotels/GH: 3 or 4 guest houses.
Mr Pho's River Resort ( bamboo bungalows at the shore) 10 000/2 person.
There are " restaurants" on the island.
Entrance fee to the attraction: 2000 kip for a 3 or 4 days ticket to cross the bridge to Dong Den or to go to the waterfall on Dong Khon .
Transport: To cross the river from Dong Khon to Dong Den 2500kip/person if you are 2, if you are 3 then 2000/person. Small boat no more than 3 people plus boatman. Bargain hard.
Mr Pho wanted to charge 15000 kip for 1 person (alone) to go to mainland Ban Nakasan (to catch the bus)
Dong Den
Much more quiet island.
Hotel/GH:
Souksan bungalow (same family as on Dong Khong) At the top of the island very nice location 10 000 kip/ bungalow (2 people)
Mr Tho's bungalow one-bed "rooms" 5000 / person. His wife can cook dinner, good price nice food. Big dose with sticky rice. Not so small as the typical Lao servings, like in the restaurant at Souksan Bungalows.
Mr Tho speaks English very friendly takes people on his boat to Ban Nakasan to catch the bus . 4000 kip/p and Souksan charges 8000/p, small boat

Ban Nakasan to Pakse

Bus from Ban Nakasan to Pakse at 6 am and 9 am be there early may leave earlier if full. Price 10 000 kip
Ticket from Ban Nakasan to Ban Muang costs the same. From Ban Muang junction 2 kms (hitch) to the river where you can cross to Champassak . If you get a ride and you cross the river with the car ferry it is free for you because they pay for the car, does not matter how many people travel. If you rent your own boat to cross the river approx 4000 ( info only).

Pakse - Taat Lo (Tadlo) 8000 kip


Tadlo
2 km from the road to the village and to the guest house.
Hotel/GH:
Nice big room with balcony, table, armchairs & view of the waterfall 30,000 kip. Other rooms (smaller, no view ) 20 000 or 25 000 (with shower/toilet inside).

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