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Thread: Nong Khai to Laos

  1. #1
    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Nong Khai to Laos

    Last month on my tour of Isaan we headed north up to Nong Khai for a couple of days, it was well worth the vist and one could spend weeks there and not get bored. The reason for myself and my TGF heading up to Nong Khai was I wanted to cross the border to Vientiane in Laos, I had left my mate and his TGF in Udon as they were doing the family stuff, I had no problem with that, so early one morning we headed back to Udon Thani then north to Nong Khai.


    I must say north of Udon Thani there are police checks, we went through 4 in about 60 km, the first one as we turned onto the Nong Khai road we decided to donate 200 Baht to the Police. Not because we felt sorry for them, because my TG wont wear a seatbelt, and what do you do when police say you pay 200 Baht no seatbelt, well you argue with the police, Ive got a Copper at my window speaking loudly to my TG and her responding loudly back at him, Im thinking lets just pay 200Baht and get going 555 This copper was happy just seeing my Australian license and taking the cash, never asked for an International license, we paid up and left, my TG was not happy having to pay, I say put on belt and we not pay 555


    The road from Udon to Nong Khai is dual carriage way all the way and a great road, except for police 555, didnt take long and we were entering Nong Khai, I had been reading about the place on the internet and was surprised to read that the bridge over the mekong to Laos was jointly built with the help of the Australian Government, here some detail from Wiki :

    History
    Opened on April 8, 1994, it was the first bridge across the lower Mekong, and the second on the full course of the Mekong.

    The cost was about US$30 million, funded by the Australian government as development aid for Laos.

    The bridge was built by Australian companies as a demonstration of the capabilities of their ability to complete major infrastructural projects in Southeast Asia.

    The official name of the bridge was changed by the addition of "First" after the Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge further south opened in January 2007.

    Road traffic
    Traffic on the bridge drives on the left, as in Thailand, while traffic in Laos drives on the right. The changeover at the Lao end, just before the border post, is controlled by traffic lights.

    A shuttle bus service operates across the bridge, between the Lao and Thai border posts.

    The Bridge is part of the AH12 Asian Highway Network.

    Railway
    A metre-gauge track from the new Nong Khai station runs along the centre of the bridge. Road traffic is stopped when a train is crossing.

    On March 20, 2004, an agreement between the Thai and Lao governments was signed to extend the railway to Thanaleng Railway Station in Laos, about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from the bridge. This will be the first railway link to Laos (but not the first railway, as a short portage line once existed). The Thai government agreed to finance the line through a combination of grant and loan. Construction formally began on January 19, 2007.[3] Test trains began running on July 4, 2008. Formal inauguration occurred on March 5, 2009.

    On February 22, 2006, approval of funding for the rail line from Thanaleng Railway Station to Vientiane, about 9 km, was announced by the French Development Agency.

    In November 2010 plans to extend the service from Tha Nalaeng to Vientiane were abandoned. A posited high-speed rail link from China to Thailand through Laos would make the extension redundant. It would also necessitate the construction of a new bridge near to the current First Friendship Bridge
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  2. #2
    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Here is a few pictures, leaving Udon and on our way, to a police stop 555





























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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    I think the idea behind the bridge was part of Paul keatings trade push into Asia.... Where Thip lives (40klm to the west of Nong Khai) was the major crossing point into Laos before the bridge was built as it's directly opposite Vientiane, now days it's just a sleepy little Baan that looks across at the lights and sounds of Vientiane. I have often sat there on the banks of the Mekong thinking that the Laotians must look over at Thailand and think what a boring place Thailand must be as there is nothing going on!.

    Did you drive into Laos or take a taxi?
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivo View Post




    This is the turn off to Thips place... another 5min past Tha Bo
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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Well our first stop in Nong Khai was to meet my TGF's cousin, he had lived here for many years with his wife, he was about 30years of age, my TG had never met his wife. We phoned ahead and thet met us on a side road to take us to there place. They rent a small like shed/garage and stay there during the week with there milk business and return to there house every weekend which I never saw but was about 25km away i was told. Cousin and his wife spoke no english so we just smiled at each other, my TG was very happy to see him again, they grew up together in Chiang Rai and she had not seen him for 10 years up, how ever long that is 555 We spoke about doing the border crossing and he sain to my TG that they would not let our car over the border because it is under finance, apparently the dealer keeps the lic papers until to pay it off ? He offered us his car to take over the border, I said to my TG ask if they want to come, we all go together, Falang pay and we eat and drink together, no problem, we not work tonight was the answer 555


    Cousin had crossed the border about 10 times I was told, first must get visa for car was what I was told and we went to a Transport office and came back with paperwork and a sticker to put on the window, then it was head over to the visa office at the bridge, only a few km's away....................



































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  6. #6
    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    Did you drive into Laos or take a taxi?

    Yes PBB I drove over the border and around Laos, Im getting to that 555
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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Well you might of noticed in the previous photos, Laos is lefthand drive, alot of vehicles in Nong Khai were lefthand drive but I never noticed as everyone has black tinted windows. Cousin would not drive in Laos as he said he tried before and no good, so I was thown the keys for the Nissan and over the bridge we go, as cousin had been before he knew where to go. We only got there about 3pm so it was a bit of a rushed tour, still well worth the effort. Our first stop was a park with a big statue looking back over the Mekong at Thailand, what surprised me was the amount of people exercising, they had free exercise machines everywhere and people running and jogging, not same Thailand TGF says to me 555 Thaialnd eat sleep, Laos run run 555 Was quite hot and while I was taking a few pictures cousin had wandered off and came back with a couple of laos beer, didnt even have to ask, well done cousin 555












































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  8. #8
    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post
    This is the turn off to Thips place... another 5min past Tha Bo

    Thips from way north PBB, good looking countryside up that way, have you been over the border a few times PBB and what are your thoughts on Laos ?
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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivo View Post
    Thips from way north PBB, good looking countryside up that way, have you been over the border a few times PBB and what are your thoughts on Laos ?
    I like Laos.... even though it's only separated by a river it is a completely different place. We mainly go there to shop as the prices are so cheap compared to LOS, we bought my Mum a Louis Vuitton knock off handbag 2 years ago for 1200bht and my Mum showed a lady here in Oz who said that she thought that it was a genuine as the quality was that good. I like how the French is mixed with the Communist and Buddhist influence. I can see myself doing a bit of touring around Laos in years to come once if seen a bit more of LOS.
    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

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    The artist formally known as Wabbits Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน wabbits's Avatar
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    Me too has a great feel, good beer and seems more laid back than LOS..How is that possible.5555555
    A big french stick and lashings of cheese etc suprised me in a good way when it has been sometime away from yummy bread.
    Vientane had a very cultural vibe i remember wondering around there saying to self "love it here".
    .

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Well after looking at the big buildings we drove around the town of Vietiane for a short distance and found some parking near some markets, remember I have 2 guides that speak no english and this is my TG's first trip here so I had no comentary of what is what at all, just point and then go look if I want too. VG would be very dissapointed, I was a bit too as I would at least like to know what i am looking at 555


    The next stop was near some markets and cousin pointed to a big gold colour building, him and his wife went to the markets and me and TG went to look at the building, turned out to be a museum according to the sign. It was nearly sunset now and we had to be back over the border before 8pm so time was running out. In hindsight we should have spent a night over here and got 2 full days of sightseeing, well there is always nextime 555


    Here is a few photo's................................























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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PatongBeachBoy's Avatar
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    Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    After looking around the museum building, it closes at 4pm so never got to go inside, we went across the road to the markets, we found cousin and his wife, they had a few small bags of gifts for there 2 kids that they see on the weekends, cousin's wife also had some CD's and DVD's, she shows me the DVD's a couple for the kids and a couple of pornos for hubby, I say boom boom and point to DVD, yes him look as she point to hubby, I love how open Thai girls are 555


    We had a couple of snacks from the many food vendors here at the markets, then it was time to find our way back to Thailand, and cross over the bridge, we still hadnt booked a hotel to stay at in Nong Khai, cousin said have hotel near his place, no problem him say.


    Here the markets.............................


























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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatongBeachBoy View Post



    Is that the inlaws PBB ?
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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    You would recognize this water feature then PBB.............................


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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Once we were back over the border it was time to find a hotel, cousin took us to the Nong Khai City Hotel which is around the corner from where he stays, cousin and my TG went in to book a room, discount 50 Baht for Thai, then falang walk in with bags 555 Go to say I wasnt expecting much, it was about 9pm now, went and checked the room out, brilliant was my thoughts, near new, king bed, wifi, aircond, it was perfect for the night. We said for cousin and wife to come back after shower, we meet at Aussie bar which is next door to the hotel, have a few drinks then we go eat.....................


























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  17. #17
    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention the Nong Khai Hotel was 500 Baht per night, great value and would recommend it to everyone, secure car parking underneath the hotel. I hadnt had a good night drinking for a while because ive always been the skipper, tonight we were on foot so the beers flowed quickly, cousin enjoyed my pace aswell and could put a few beers away, the girls sipped a couple of coolers. Cousin slipped off to get snacks a few times and the bar handed out cracked biscuits with cheese, from Australia the thai barmaid tells me. They were great ans we stayed here for a couple of hours, didnt plan to just happened 555


    Read the sign closely, this is on the street, looks like everyone is invited to the golf 555 ..............





    Here is the pub by night..........................





    One sad thing I did learn from my TG, cousin no have Papa, him Papa and Papa Papa bang bang dead. Turns out his father and grandfather had many cows up in Chiang Rai, there was some dispute over ownership of there cows ot they were being stolen ? and the father and son were shot dead, this was 30 years ago as cousin was still inside Mama when this happened so he never got to meet his dad. I was shown a few photos of the family that his wife had in her handbag, I could see him trying to explain who was who in the pictures, there were some of my TG as they all shared a house when they were toddlers in Chiag Rai.
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    เมืองเชียงราย Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Rivo's Avatar
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    A few more random pictures of around Nong Khai...........................................









































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  19. #19
    Jessica
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    A great appraisal of your time in Nongkhai (despite the pigeon English in parts lol) where I am from although my family are from Laos.
    May I ask what this 555 business is please?
    I have heard of a "hi five" but the usage of the 555 is a new one on me.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Uber Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Nomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica View Post
    May I ask what this 555 business is please?
    5 = ha in Thai

    Thus, ha ha ha (lol) in English.
    "Don't wait around for your life to happen to you. Find something that makes you happy and do it. Everything else is just background noise." George Mason

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