The Friendship Bridge Renovations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Englishman, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi there, I am sure everybody already knows this but the border post/crossing in VTE takes hours now. WE made the mistake of crossing to Nong Khai on a Saturday - :stop:DONT DO IT:stop::mad:. They have dreamt up another little money earner for themselves and relieve us of our cash. The problem is they dont explain it at all.
    You dont just fill out the countless number of forms to leave, wait in a queue for 2 hours whilst Lao and Thai people just walk up to the front and push in but now once you have got the requisite number of little rubber stamps - things begin to get worse - now they have installed electronic gates which require the purchase of a special little token (like a credit card size) but the box where you buy them from is the first thing you pass when you want to leave (like a car park charge booth) there are no warning signs saying that this system is now working and you have to buy this permit. Its a blue and red hut type thing. So after you have queued for hours trying to get out you then find you have to turn round and walk back through all the hoards of people to get this "card" then wait in yet another queue with Lao and Thai people just barging in front of you. So, if you have the unfortunate "luck" of having to leave Laos via the friendship bridge allow at least 4 hours to get out. Coming back in from Thailand is a lot easier and quicker with signs and instructions (albeit homemade) the queues of cars wanting to leave was very long also. Another option might be to fly to BKK, it would be quicker!. On both border posts (Lao & Thai) there is big construction going on didnt affect the Thai side but the Lao side was chaos personified.
    On the Thai side they provide pens and umbrellas but the Lao side - nothing, not even a few pictures to let us have an educated guess as to why all this is necessary. What makes me laugh so much is that there are widespread power cuts so in theory the exit gates wont open anyway!
    The new airport at Luang Prabang has finally opened but the domestic terminal at Wattay is still filthy. In short my B2 cost $950, crossing the bridge cost $76, the return flights from LP-VTE-LP cost $465 so I am now $1491 lighter. The computer I went to buy? - ran out of time. I have asked my mum in England to buy it and DHL it to LP - its cheaper than going to NK.:eek::rolleyes: (and it would probably be quicker)
     
  2. Judith

    Judith Member

    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ooh I went to nk 2 weeks ago, no problems....
     
  3. codemonkey

    codemonkey Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    25
    Quite the drama queen aren't you? It might take an extra five minutes or so if you need to get a one way pass, if you have to do it often you can just get a green card and you never have to wait a minute. Also I have never seen the queue at that booth longer than 5 people and I have the pleasure of going about once a month.
     
    gabriel, Olivier and Judith like this.
  4. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    I didnt count the number of people in the queue but it was well over 20, probably nearer 30. Thankfully I only have to go through that chaotic shambles once a year. We landed at Wattay at 08.30 and got a tuk tuk to the bus station by the morning market and the green bus to the bridge which cost us just 6000LAK each, baby was free. Thanks to the chaos at the bridge I never managed to get to IT city, I dare not risk the same 3 hour 47 minute transit time between Thailand and Lao but as it turned out the Thai side was much more efficient and well organised. Finally, I was there you were not. It may have been a one off, I just dont know - all I am saying is get the little plastic card BEFORE anything else other wise you will have 4 queues to wait in and as Lao and Thai people seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to just push in to the fronts of the queues it could take a lot longer. Drama queen? nope - its called fact. 5 people? when did you go 4am?:rolleyes:
     
  5. JK

    JK Jack of all trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    31
    Can't complain too much about the locals going to the head of the line... I have seen at many airports in 'the west' where citizens go through quickly and everyone else is in a queue out the back of the airport waiting their turn to get the third degree... Learn the language and maybe you could push your way to the front too... :p
     
  6. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    My wife is Lao and she told them to "wait", I was a bit more ummmm, graphic after waiting hours and I do admit I lost my temper (no excuse for that) but the middle finger seems widely understood. What I dont "get" is why the Thai's can organise it - no worries, but the Lao side???. Dya remember the old anacronyism and the piss up in a brewery?. Typifies the Lao side. I think the other good one is: Too many chiefs and not enough Indians - Thats terribly racist but why do the "officers" always seem to be feeding their faces and the little guy is out in the rain taking the shit for the "officer" who doesnt care anyway and is lining his pockets with our "fee's". I think if somebody asks me what Lao is like I will say: "Lao is honestly corrupt, racist and self centered" but then that surely that also to applies to the UK,USA, Oz, etc etc etc. There is no emoticon to insert (legal, anyway!)but I guess we have the funky chicken:chicken::chicken::chicken:
     
  7. codemonkey

    codemonkey Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    25
    Englishman, your posts reminded me of another member on this board called Paul.Vientiane. Forgot your password on that account? :)
     
  8. Petrus47

    Petrus47 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    752
    Likes Received:
    68
    :D:D:D
     
  9. viajero

    viajero Member

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    17
    'honestly corrupt' is rather an oxymoron, but anyway...

    If you do not have ANY positive thoughts about Laos, then leave. Having these opinions must be a very heavy emotional toll for your family to bear.

    If you really are intent on staying, you could look up Paul.Vientiane From his posts he moved to LPB. With your newly 'activated' business visa, open a bar called Ye Olde B ande C (Bitche ande Complaine, an Olde English pub)... maybe you can find solace there... During Happy Hour no wives or kids are allowed.
     
    san_vai and gabriel like this.
  10. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Actually, the bar could be a good idea. As somebody said "if you cant find anything you like here then leave" BeerLao is the only thing I have found that "works" properly. The infastructure most certainly doesnt.:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
  11. san_vai

    san_vai Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    You are very right. i read one article on through findinlao , which mention ppl with this mentality they crib, countrys like laos still don't leave it.

    for Englishmen can you explain this "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians - Thats terribly racist" I would like see to more inside of you.:nailbiting:
     
  12. codemonkey

    codemonkey Active Member

    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    25
  13. Englishman

    Englishman Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    1
    Anyway, getting back to my original post. Dont go over the bridge on a Saturday was all I was saying.:p
     

Share This Page