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Tiggy 7

Laos

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Here's one for the 'Old Asia Hands' here - that's you, Furuogajin and Jojosun, and maybe SirMarjAlot and/or Jerboa (and maybe A N Other, with a bit of luck):

 

Do you know about or have you had any experience with traveling in Laos with a foreign lady who is NOT your wife.  More specifically, can you enlighten me on the local ground rules re sharing a hotel room with her, assuming that you check-in with her.  I know that it can be dicey with local women, especially in a top-quality hotel, but I am not clear on how 'guest-friendly' works in Laos if the guest is actually your Thai GF.  I like arriving with confirmed hotel reservations but I am wondering about whether to broach this issue directly with the hotel before I book - it's a bit ticklish, even for me.  And we won't be due to arrive (by riverboat) until the evening, which can make it difficult to make last minute arrangements if stymied by one's hotel.

 

Neither ISG or WSG are much use in researching this question - the focus is on local punting, not on arriving with a pre-arranged punt - so I thought I'd toss this one to our local panel of experts. 

 

Know anything?

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 @  Mr  Tiggy , If you are thinking to take TGF into another country  , don't you think it would be good manners to ask KP and myself first . We may have other plans for her   . So inconsiderate  of you .  I will mail her right this moment  .  :P

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 @  Mr  Tiggy , If you are thinking to take TGF into another country  , don't you think it would be good manners to ask KP and myself first . We may have other plans for her   . So inconsiderate  of you .  I will mail her right this moment  .  :P

 

Let me query the Old Asian Hands here first, please.  There will be plenty of time of Old English Punters to contribute later, once they have had their evening cocoa and Nurse has tucked them in for the night. :cool:

 

If there are any younger adults present who have any useful information to provide, I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sigh........how does Nurse put up with those Punter Twins?

Edited by Tiggy 7

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Took my Thai GF to Vientianne and Luang Praband back in 2001. She was, of course, travelling on a Thai passport and me with a UK passport. No problem with hotels at that time. Can't imagine that has changed.

 

Goes without saying, but check visa requirements. I think they have changed (now easier) for Thais since 2001. Whilst I can't remember precise details, I vaguely remember that my Thai GF got visa on arrival at Nong Khai but it was for travel only in/around Vientianne. This caused us some issues when we boarded flight to Luang Prabang and back to Vientianne.

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Took my Thai GF to Vientianne and Luang Praband back in 2001. She was, of course, travelling on a Thai passport and me with a UK passport. No problem with hotels at that time. Can't imagine that has changed.

 

Goes without saying, but check visa requirements. I think they have changed (now easier) for Thais since 2001. Whilst I can't remember precise details, I vaguely remember that my Thai GF got visa on arrival at Nong Khai but it was for travel only in/around Vientianne. This caused us some issues when we boarded flight to Luang Prabang and back to Vientianne.

 

Brilliant, I was hoping to hear from someone just like you!  If no 'guest-friendly' snags then, I'm satisfied that there won't be any today.  She has a Thai passport and, these days, Thais no longer require visas when visiting other ASEAN countries.

 

By the way, Gazza, does the term 'Nanapong' ring a bell with you?

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"Nanapong". Was that one of the Bangkok forums? I used to dip in and out of the NanaPlaza forum (now defunct) quite regularly, but remember another one that I looked at sporadically. Could be way off the mark. If so, what's your Nanapong?

 

OT, I was in Pattaya in July and tempted to look you up. Obviously didn't. Ended up not choosing not to impose on your holiday.

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"Nanapong". Was that one of the Bangkok forums? I used to dip in and out of the NanaPlaza forum (now defunct) quite regularly, but remember another one that I looked at sporadically. Could be way off the mark. If so, what's your Nanapong?

 

OT, I was in Pattaya in July and tempted to look you up. Obviously didn't. Ended up not choosing not to impose on your holiday.

 

:D I thought so!  Nanapong was/still is a successor to NanaPlaza, which continues life under a different name now but is run by the same 'Marcel' and is absolutely plain vanilla-boring these days.  Nanapong is a mere shadow of its earlier self now, too - as the originator of the infamous Bangkok Dance Contests of more than a decade ago - as most of its principal posters have gravitated to FaceBook in recent years.  We (although I was a mere newbie to NanaPlaza at that time) formed Nanapong as more of a social vehicle, sort of a 'meeting yer mates down ta pub on Friday night' sort of fellowship, and it was a great place to develop a grounding in the low life of Thailand, mainly Bangkok and Pattaya, but with board members scattered throughout the provinces, as well, many of them with Thai wives or girlfriends and many of them retired Brits (with a few ex-pat Yanks thrown in, as well).  There was a 'Gazza' who posted there occasionally, who might have been you,  I was and still am 'Tiggy7' everywhere, in solemn memory our revered Siamese cat, who lived to be 21 1/2 and kept my family company while I was desporting myself in Asia during those years. :P

Edited by Tiggy 7

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Here's one for the 'Old Asia Hands' here - that's you, Furuogajin and Jojosun, and maybe SirMarjAlot and/or Jerboa (and maybe A N Other, with a bit of luck):

 

Do you know about or have you had any experience with traveling in Laos with a foreign lady who is NOT your wife.  More specifically, can you enlighten me on the local ground rules re sharing a hotel room with her, assuming that you check-in with her.  I know that it can be dicey with local women, especially in a top-quality hotel, but I am not clear on how 'guest-friendly' works in Laos if the guest is actually your Thai GF.  I like arriving with confirmed hotel reservations but I am wondering about whether to broach this issue directly with the hotel before I book - it's a bit ticklish, even for me.  And we won't be due to arrive (by riverboat) until the evening, which can make it difficult to make last minute arrangements if stymied by one's hotel.

 

Neither ISG or WSG are much use in researching this question - the focus is on local punting, not on arriving with a pre-arranged punt - so I thought I'd toss this one to our local panel of experts. 

 

Know anything?

.

 

Now you made me blush ...  Still learning the ropes about SEA especially when it comes to Japan and you suddenly elevate me to the status of an "OLD ASIA HAND".. Oh Lord it's hard to be Humble .

Never been to Laos .  Last time i was in Chiang Mai i was thinking of doing the boat run to Luang Prabang in Laos. Did  the necessary research and some stories about the trip up and down The Mekong River by a slow boat or speed boat ..

Anyway the research and the tales about the trip put off my usual companions who by then really liked Chiang Mai and told me that i can go there on my own ..

 

I was thinking of doing the trip with a very attractive dancer i met at a Go Go bar in CM . She was up for it but she didn't have a passport. .Research on punting with local girl in Laos didn't  make it a very  appealing destination ,although i still like to visit Luang Prabang ..

Now to your question about checking in with your TGF in Laos .   My research says it should be  ok as your female companion is not a Laotian National .. Checking in a hotel in Laos with a Laotian female ,requires either a wedding certificate to show that she is married to you , or a letter from the village chief allowing  cohabitation with the girl ,if she is not married ..

 

 As you  said ,neither ISG or WSG are much use on this question . When it comes to non sexual  travel matters ,the best guides i found with a weaith of info are Trip Advisor or Virtual Tourist . 

There is a member by the name of  ( JOHN C) on the  Laos forum on Tripadvisor  who is a hotelier in Luang Prabang. Very helpful and informative  .

Here is the link http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293950-i11502-k5860219-Laos_girlfriend-Vientiane_Vientiane_Province.html

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 we won't be due to arrive (by riverboat) until the evening, which can make it difficult to make last minute arrangements if stymied by one's hotel.

 

 

 

Know anything?

.

Tiggy you are a Role Model. Re riverboat to Luang Prabang ,are you taking the Slow Boat or the Speed Boat ??.

I was told at the time that the Speed Boat is not recommended at all and dangerous and this i was told by some young Californian surfers i met at a bar in CM ..

More on riverboats v other modes of transport from  Chiang Mai to Laos . http://www.travelfish.org/feature/119

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Huay Xai to Luang Prabang by speed boat

The advantages of taking a speedboat are that it's very fast and, if you're into bungy-jumping, skydiving and wrestling polar bears, then it is right up your alley. The disadvantages of the speedboat are that they are dangerous -- you're asked to wear a helmet for a reason, they're so noisy that, aside from interrupting what is otherwise a pristine, peaceful environment, you can expect your ears to ring for days afterwards, and lastly, they're dangerous ... or did we say that already?

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.

Tiggy you are a Role Model. Re riverboat to Luang Prabang ,are you taking the Slow Boat or the Speed Boat ??.

I was told at the time that the Speed Boat is not recommended at all and dangerous and this i was told by some young Californian surfers i met at a bar in CM ..

More on riverboats v other modes of transport from  Chiang Mai to Laos . http://www.travelfish.org/feature/119

 

Definitely NOT the speed boat!  I took one of its Cambodian cousins across Ton le` Sap from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap many years ago and my hearing has never been the same since!

 

No, I am eyeing the two-day slow boat Shompoo Cruise, which appears to offer the best deal - a luxury boat, with an overnight stopover in a nice hotel in Pak Beng (half-way betwen Huay Xai and Luang Prabang) - and anything that hints of 'luxury' turns TGF to putty in my hands! :P   We will make the return journey by VIP international coach, at least 12 hours in all, so that had better be pretty comfortable, as well!  'Luxury' in that part of Asia equates with 'steerage class' in the West. ;)

Edited by Tiggy 7

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dont take the speedboat - dangerous as hell, slow boat with an overnight in Pakbeng is the way to go (I have done both) - Shompoo is excellent (and much better value than the luxury Luang Say boat). No visa required for Thai nationals to go to Laos now - you get your visa on arrival in Huay Xai. Pre-book your hotels and you will have absolutely no problem at all. Not much mongering action in Luang Prabang (there is some though). 

Include a stopover in Vang Vieng en route from LP to Vientiane - stunning place - especially now they have gotten rid of the majority of dope smoking backpackers that used to overrun the place - (Riverside Boutique Resort or Elephant Crossing are the best two hotels in town)....

Personally I prefer the overnight train from Nong Khai over the VIP bus - easier to get a nosh on the train! 

let me know if you want any restaurant or hotel tips in LP (by trade I'm a specialist Asia travel agent first and mongerer second)

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dont take the speedboat - dangerous as hell, slow boat with an overnight in Pakbeng is the way to go (I have done both) - Shompoo is excellent (and much better value than the luxury Luang Say boat). No visa required for Thai nationals to go to Laos now - you get your visa on arrival in Huay Xai. Pre-book your hotels and you will have absolutely no problem at all. Not much mongering action in Luang Prabang (there is some though). 

Include a stopover in Vang Vieng en route from LP to Vientiane - stunning place - especially now they have gotten rid of the majority of dope smoking backpackers that used to overrun the place - (Riverside Boutique Resort or Elephant Crossing are the best two hotels in town)....

Personally I prefer the overnight train from Nong Khai over the VIP bus - easier to get a nosh on the train! 

let me know if you want any restaurant or hotel tips in LP (by trade I'm a specialist Asia travel agent first and mongerer second)

 

Another great response - many thanks, HD!  I've actually done 'the tour' of Laos more than once in the past, using Intrepid Travel for logistics and lodging but ducking out on their principal clients (tending to be geriatric couples and youth more interested in finding the perfect place to get a pizza than in fraternising with the locals) for the rest of the time.  I've also cycled along the Mekong in the region of Nong Khai and even sought out the elusive freshwater dolphins just north of the Cambodian border (having first sighted them in Cambodia on a different trip).  It's an interesting country but hardly a monger's delight.  In this case, I will be taking my TGF along to share LP (as well as the boat and bus trips to and from) and she definitely will not be demanding that I ply her with pizza.  She's from the south rather than Isaan but she will thrill to the Laotian cuisine!  We will mainly be spending our time in the Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai areas (six day in each, with the flower festival and parade in CM a centerpiece of the latter) so LP will be a side trip but it will give her a chance to put her Thai passport to good use and she is very excited at the prospect.  I've taken her to CM before but this time we will spend most of our four weeks in the north.

 

I'd love to have 2-3 good hotel recommendations, HD, preferably reasonably upscale but in the heart of town and walkable, rather than a 5* resort far from the madding crowd.  Restaurants won't be a problem and I am pretty sure we can find our own way to wherever we decide to go since the really good stuff is pretty centralised.  Many thanks again for your offer. :)

Edited by Tiggy 7

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Here are 2 replies to a generic question ,re checking a TGF in a Hotel in LP ,Laos . A  western guy who wants to check in his TGF in Laos .  95415-i9321-k6732760-Checking_in_a_Luang_Prabang_Hotel_with_a_Thai_girlfriend-Luang_Prabang_Luang_Prabang_Provin.html

 

No problem at all . 

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On trip advisor   Checking in a Luang Prabang Hotel with a Thai girlfriend

yesterday, 21:08
 
 
 

I am aware of the requirements for checking in a hotel with a Laotian girlfriend ,thanks to the post by John C,but are there any constraints or requirements when a western guy checks in a hotel with his Thai Girlfriend who is a Thai National ??...

 

2 Replies to the above . No problem at all . .

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Vientiane
posts: 4,607
reviews: 46
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2. Re: Checking in a Luang Prabang Hotel with a Thai girlfriend
today, 1:35
 
 
 

None whatsoever.

. .

What a lucky TGF 

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Vientiane
posts: 4,607
reviews: 46
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2. Re: Checking in a Luang Prabang Hotel with a Thai girlfriend
today, 1:35
 
 
 

None whatsoever.

. .

What a lucky TGF 

 

 

Many thanks for your research, JJ.  Yes, she is lucky but then so am I.  Often that is better than being clever. :P

Edited by Tiggy 7

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Do you know about or have you had any experience with traveling in Laos with a foreign lady who is NOT your wife.  ....especially in a top-quality hotel,

 

Yet another to add that absolutely no problems were encountered in Vientiane, with a prior booking at one of the best hotels in the capital. This was pre-Internet days in Laos, where Internet was available at the hotel, but only to foreigners, and you had to show your passport to obtain access. All that has changed now and the city is a lot more open.

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Yet another to add that absolutely no problems were encountered in Vientiane, with a prior booking at one of the best hotels in the capital. This was pre-Internet days in Laos, where Internet was available at the hotel, but only to foreigners, and you had to show your passport to obtain access. All that has changed now and the city is a lot more open.

 

Thanks to you, BM, as well.  We're just going to LP and then back to northern Thailand but I am satisfied that we shouldn't encounter any hassles over our cohabitation.  I'm not sure how well my TGF's southern Thai dialect will go down with the Laotians - gals from Isaan have little difficulty shifting back and forth between the two kindred dialects - but she will have a great time trying.  It's fun to just sit back and watch her 'negotiate'.  She would have made a great commodity futures trader! :P

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I'd love to have 2-3 good hotel recommendations, HD, preferably reasonably upscale but in the heart of town and walkable, rather than a 5* resort far from the madding crowd.  Restaurants won't be a problem and I am pretty sure we can find our own way to wherever we decide to go since the really good stuff is pretty centralised.  Many thanks again for your offer. :)

 

sure your TG will love it....

Hotels

My picks are

 

3 Nagas - in the heart of the old town, top draw place (but no pool - but can use pool/facilities etc at the uber luxury Hotel de la Paix) - very traditional place full of character, rooms are a bit dark - ask for an upstairs room as wooden floors are a bit noisy - especially if you plan to be jumping off the wardrobes! 

Apsara Rive Droite - just across the river (needs a 30 seconds river crossing each time there and back and walk up steps to hotel - only 9 rooms - very cool and funky - excellent pool - if you want to impress her and have a chillout relaxing time but still not far from the action this is the place to go)

Le Sen Resort is a mid range place - only opened a few months ago but is really good - great location, has a pool and best value in LP at the mo

Villa Saykham Hotel - is my fav of the cheapo character guesthouses in the >USD$50 range

 

Enjoy

Edited by Vin DaLoo
Corrected Quoting

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sure your TG will love it....

Hotels

My picks are

 

3 Nagas - in the heart of the old town, top draw place (but no pool - but can use pool/facilities etc at the uber luxury Hotel de la Paix) - very traditional place full of character, rooms are a bit dark - ask for an upstairs room as wooden floors are a bit noisy - especially if you plan to be jumping off the wardrobes! 

Apsara Rive Droite - just across the river (needs a 30 seconds river crossing each time there and back and walk up steps to hotel - only 9 rooms - very cool and funky - excellent pool - if you want to impress her and have a chillout relaxing time but still not far from the action this is the place to go)

Le Sen Resort is a mid range place - only opened a few months ago but is really good - great location, has a pool and best value in LP at the mo

Villa Saykham Hotel - is my fav of the cheapo character guesthouses in the >USD$50 range

 

Enjoy

 

Many thanks!  Your first two are about $100 per night but I am not ready to pay that price yet.  Sadly, Le Sen Resort apparently is fully booked for those three nights (unless you have a secret pipeline to them).  Villa Saykham has rooms and $37 p/n looks pretty good but do you have any other places places perhaps somewhere in-between?  We'll be there during the high season and I'm glad I started asking questions now!  Also, any tips for Chiang Rai, preferably near the Night Market?

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The Apsara (sister hotel to Rive Droite is good) and cheaper but also often booked up...

Maison Dalabua 

My Dream Resort - few mins out of town but ok and with pool.

Villa Malay - 
Villa Lao Wooden House
 

I always stay at Legend Chiang Rai if in Chiang Rai itself (not the cheapest but a great quality place) - not overly familiar with the rest of the town.

be aware it is over an hour from Chiang Rai town to Chaing Sean to catch the boat down the Mekong and you have to be in Huay Xai by 8am to ensure you get visa on arrival etc and be on time for the boat.

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The Apsara (sister hotel to Rive Droite is good) and cheaper but also often booked up...

Maison Dalabua 

My Dream Resort - few mins out of town but ok and with pool.

Villa Malay - 

Villa Lao Wooden House

 

I always stay at Legend Chiang Rai if in Chiang Rai itself (not the cheapest but a great quality place) - not overly familiar with the rest of the town.

be aware it is over an hour from Chiang Rai town to Chaing Sean to catch the boat down the Mekong and you have to be in Huay Xai by 8am to ensure you get visa on arrival etc and be on time for the boat.

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The Apsara (sister hotel to Rive Droite is good) and cheaper but also often booked up...

Maison Dalabua 

My Dream Resort - few mins out of town but ok and with pool.

Villa Malay - 

Villa Lao Wooden House

 

I always stay at Legend Chiang Rai if in Chiang Rai itself (not the cheapest but a great quality place) - not overly familiar with the rest of the town.

be aware it is over an hour from Chiang Rai town to Chaing Sean to catch the boat down the Mekong and you have to be in Huay Xai by 8am to ensure you get visa on arrival etc and be on time for the boat.

 

 

Many thanks for the additional LP hotel tips, HD.  As for our trip from Chiang Rai to LP, I am planning to get to Huay Xai a day early and spend the night there so that we can easily catch our 0900 sailing for Pak Beng (having first gotten my Laotian visa) the following day, and I am planning to do the same when we return from LP to Huay Xai by VIP bus, working our way from there over to Chiang Mai the following day.  Do you have any good tips on Huay Xai hotels or, more likely, guest houses? :)

Edited by Tiggy 7

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Hi T7 - there is nowhere and no point in staying in Huay Xai - just stay in Chiang Sean on the Thai side of the border (there are loads of options there and more restaurants etc) and ferry over to Huay Xai in the morning (and back in evening on your return).

Just get the Lao visa on arrival in Huay Xai - takes around 5 mins - (prices vary on day of the week and who is on duty USD$35 - $45 + 2 passport photos) easy and painless process.

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