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  #1  
Old 07-14-2007, 07:48 AM
WhoIam WhoIam is offline
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Location: Vientiane
Posts: 2,152
Default Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

I'm not sure I would consider myself an expert on Vientiane--I lived there for a month and just moved back to stay for a while. Other than a few places in Thailand, I haven't traveled extensively throughout SE Asia, so I can't compare it to other places in the region. I haven't been anywhere else in Laos, but hopefully that will change soon. To start off the discussion, here's a brief list of the pros and cons of Vientiane:

Pros
Hot falang-loving women
Cheap booze
Safe if you aren't a [censored]
Wide variety of cheap and tasty food
Friendly people
No "damn falang" attitude like Thailand
English is widely spoken

Cons
Limited freedoms and rights
90% of the city is shut down by 9:00
Except for 2 or 3 places, bars close at 11:30
Poor medical care
[censored] tuk-tuks
Sexing Laotians is illegal (though rarely enforced)
Internet is expensive and/or unreliable and/or slow

To give you an idea of the cost of living, here's what random things cost in US dollars:

Small bottle of water--$.20
Large beer in a bar or restaurant--$1
Fifth of Jameson in a store--$16
Meal in a local place--$1
Meal in a western-oriented place--$3-4
Meal at nicest place in town--$10 an entre
Personal Trainer--$5/hr

So ask away and I'll answer as best I can or talk to someone who knows what's up. I don't have internet at the place I'm staying at right now, so it may take a little while to respond to questions.
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2007, 09:23 PM
Humble Pie Humble Pie is offline
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Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

Why did you go? I'll keep my assumptions to myself for now.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:13 AM
WhoIam WhoIam is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vientiane
Posts: 2,152
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

[ QUOTE ]
Why did you go? I'll keep my assumptions to myself for now.

[/ QUOTE ]
I came for a brief holiday/Thai visa run, ended up loving it, and stayed for a month. I then spent a month in Bangkok, didn't care for it, and came back.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2007, 02:50 AM
kurti kurti is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 111
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

Thanks for doing this [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
My questions:
how is the climate and how bad is pollution?
what do you pay for rent?
what kind of activities are available (like golf, tennis ...)?
what are the visa regulations?
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2007, 04:07 AM
WhoIam WhoIam is offline
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Location: Vientiane
Posts: 2,152
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

[ QUOTE ]

how is the climate and how bad is pollution?

[/ QUOTE ]
The climate is tropical, very similar to Thailand. Right now it is HOT. The heat in Thailand never really bothered me, but here it seems like I'm drenched in sweat after walking a couple blocks. Maybe I should start wearing shorts. It should cool off soon, though. Supposedly this is the rainy season, but it's been dry for few days I've been here.

There's not much air pollution because there isn't much traffic here. Vientiane is a very open city and there are plenty of trees.
[ QUOTE ]
what do you pay for rent?

[/ QUOTE ]
When I stayed here last time I worked out a long-term deal at a decent hotel (air conditioning, fridge, double bed) for $55/week and I'm doing a similar deal right now. I want to find a house or apartment in the near future. I should be able to find something nice in a central location for $200-300. I could pay more but I don't need 3 bedrooms or anything.
[ QUOTE ]
what kind of activities are available (like golf, tennis ...)?

[/ QUOTE ] There are a couple golf courses in the area. I'm not really a golfer so I can't comment on how they are. I hear there's a bowling alley in town. I've seen badminton, squash, and volley ball. I'm pretty sure you would die if you tried to play tennis in this heat. I've played a couple times when it was over 90 degrees and it wasn't a pleasant experience.

There's an expat rugby team called the Vientiane Buffaloes. I'm a little undersized to play rugby plus I don't know many of the rules, so I don't think I'll be joining the team.
[ QUOTE ]
what are the visa regulations?

[/ QUOTE ]
30-day visa on arrival for about $35. This can be extended for (I think) 15 days in Laos. If you want to stay longer you need to leave the country and reenter.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2007, 04:13 AM
WhoIam WhoIam is offline
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Location: Vientiane
Posts: 2,152
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

When I was typing the above, two ladyboys approached me and asked if I were interested in doing commercials for Lao TV. They gave me a card and took my email so there's a pretty good chance they're legit.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2007, 06:28 AM
ofdabeat ofdabeat is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: friggin bangkok baby
Posts: 358
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

[ QUOTE ]
When I was typing the above, two ladyboys approached me and asked if I were interested in doing commercials for Lao TV. They gave me a card and took my email so there's a pretty good chance they're legit.

[/ QUOTE ]

For some reason "legit" and "ladyboy" in the same sentence give me headaches
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2007, 12:29 PM
NewTeaBag NewTeaBag is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Posts: 2,085
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

Pics of
[ QUOTE ]
Hot falang-loving women

[/ QUOTE ]

plzktx
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2007, 04:40 PM
nation nation is offline
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Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

"No "damn falang" attitude like Thailand"

I've never heard this before...could you elaborate?
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2007, 08:08 PM
NewTeaBag NewTeaBag is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Posts: 2,085
Default Re: Ask WhoIam anything about living in Vientiane, Laos

[ QUOTE ]
"No "damn falang" attitude like Thailand"

I've never heard this before...could you elaborate?

[/ QUOTE ]

Predominate mainly in Bankok. The last few years have seen a small but noticable angry nature for some lower class Thais resulting in some outward hostility towards farangs. Of course for Thais, any outward hostility is V bad/major loss of face, so the expression of the hostility is more like an angry look or word rather than violence one might find in other countries. But, from most reports of said instances, it's mainly restricted to BKK and lower class Thais. In 4mos, I haven't seen even one instance of it on Phuket Island.
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