November 11, 2007 Vientiane (Laos)
“Don’t trust drivers speaking English”
When I got at the bus terminal in the capital, Vientiane, a guy said to me, “Where are you go, sir?” I did not say anything, because one of my friends in New Zealand told me,” Don’t believe people speaking English in poor countries”. But I wanted to find accommodation as soon as possible, so I decided to get into his tuktuk. He offered 100B and I said 80 B. Then, we agreed 90B. It was actually 3 times as expensive as ordinary. I had no idea about how much it was usually, as this is the first time I had ever visited here. After paying it, I noticed another wrong. He gave me only 1000kip worth 5B, although I paid 100B. He got extra 5B. I lost against him.
My hardship did not end up at that time. I could not find a good guesthouse soon. The guesthouse where I went by the tuktuk had no vacancy of single rooms. When that driver asked me whether I had got a room, I said, “I’ve got it,” because it was never a good choice to pay a lot of money for the dishonest man. He looked at me doubtfully and left there when I pretended to get into the hostel again. Then, I walked around for 30 min but I could not find good one. I went back to the first place and booked a twin room, which means I paid 8US$ for a room for two people. That room was absolutely luxury and everything in this hostel was clean. When I went to have dinner in front of this place, there were handreds of small tents and I ate a dish of fried rice with chicken and drank strange juice called Mirinda made by Pepsi. The Mekong River was absolutely amazing. Nobody could go away witouth spending a lot of time there.
Train to Nhon Khai 35 B
Bus to Vientiane 60 B
Tuktuk 145 B
Border fee 10B
Guest House 8US$
Lunch & Dinner 24000kip
Internet 3000kip (30 min)
Total 620B (= 21$)