Vientiane--Dec 14-16, 2005

A couple of days in the capital

My next stop was Vientiane which is the capital of Laos. It is a city also on the Mekong river with views across back into Thailand. I spent a day and a half taking care of business--extending my visa for Laos and using the only ATM machine in the country that accepts foreign ATM cards (and from everything I have read, it has only been in operation for a few months). The currency in Laos is approximately 10,800 kips to the US dollar and the largest bill is a 20,000 kip note (about $2). It is really easy to be a millionaire here but with the biggest bill a 20,000 your pockets and wallets fill up quickly. The ATM can only dispense about 35 bills at a time so I was only able to withdraw 700,000 kips in one go (about $70). This can make it difficult when trying to plan how much money is needed and knowing that I will not see another ATM until I get to Cambodia in a couple of weeks.

The monument here was built some years ago with money given to the Laos government earmarked for a new airport runway... go figure.

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That Luang

Also visited That Luang when In Vientiane which was a very impressive temple.

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