1800km on the clock and Goodbye to Thailand and ‘Sabaidee’ Laos!
Wow what an incredible 48 hours we have had. Departing the absolutely delightful town of That Phanom 2 days ago and cycling 57km to Mukdahan our final town in Thailand. The first 30km of that ride was possibly our least enjoyable being chased yet again by dogs, no shoulder on the road and a head wind. That’s all part of the fun though and the last 27km into Mukdahan was a breeze.
Found a great new hotel in Mukdahan ‘Bird Day Boutique’ and it was awesome with a great brekki, even had KFC next door. Oh the excitement of being able to have a break from rice and noodles. This was short lived when we went to order our up sized zinger burger meal deal only to be told. ‘No more burger……all gone’. They were however serving rice and corn in a bowl with chicken. What would the Colnel think of that?
Today we hit the pedals from Mukdahan 7km to the Laos border and received the Thailand exit stamp no sweat. As you can’t bicycle over the Friendship Bridge our next task was to wave down a ute to get our bikes and us through to Laos. 8.15am waiting, waiting, waiting. This border is so quiet it’s crazy. 9.45am we were in action and a ute pulled up to immigration and we loaded the bikes on the back and squeezed into the ute and got the ride across to Laos immigration. Loaded with US money for our visa and a further bunch of US $1 bills (as we had been informed the price can vary depending on how they feel on the day and the bribe money they may want to take). We were in action getting our Laos Visa for US $30 and no additional money required. Yahoo we are in Laos and that was a breeze! Cycled out of immigration now biking on the right hand side of the road biking a further 10km to Savannakhet. Such a slower place of life it’s like we have stepped back in time.
Straight to the Vietnam Consulate to apply for our visa we will need in 10 or so days time. Got there 5 minutes before it closed for lunch break and pick it up tomorrow, we are on a roll. Everything going to plan checked into our great little guesthouse and biked around Savannakhet getting a feel for this sleepy town. Here we will be for a couple of nights before making our way across rural Central Laos to the Vietnam border. Changed our money and we are instant millionaires with the Laos kip.
Now that we have had to say goodbye to our friend Leo we will have to try and hunt down a Beer Laos tonight as crikey it’s hot!