The Malaysian government has announced a new tax which will be charged to travellers flying out of Malaysia. The departure tax or levy for outbound air travellers, which was proposed in Budget 2019, will come into effect starting September 1, 2019.
Any traveller flying out of Malaysia to any of the ASEAN countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, will have to pay RM8 for the economy class and RM50 for other classes.
Vang Vieng had always been at the top of my travel wish list, but for the longest time ever, for some reason, I just didn’t have the opportunity to visit it.
It wasn’t until the end of 2017 during my much-needed semester break (I was a lecturer at a Malaysian international college then) that I told my then fiancée we were going to Vang Vieng. Yes, this is how long it has taken me to write and finally publish this entry – much like my long-delayed first trip to Laos.
After the visit, this little mountainous town in the landlocked Buddhist country of Laos, to me, is nothing more than just another commercial tourist spot with exceptionally good scenery.
As my other half was based on Thailand, we chose to travel into Laos via the northeastern province of Nong Khai on the banks of the Mekong River.
We spent two days in Vientiane, the capital and largest city of Laos bordering Thailand’s Nong Khai, before transferring to Vang Vieng by bus on Day 2. As this post is going to be about our adventures and misadventure in Vang Vieng, I will probably write in another entry about travelling from Nong Khai to Vientiane and our Vientiane experience.
The distance between Vientiane and Vang Vieng is about 150km, yet the bus journey took us over four hours mainly due to the rough condition of the road. This reminded me of my long bus journey from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap about ten years back, also due to the same situation.
Departing from Vientiane in the afternoon, we reached Vang Vieng on sunset, just before it was about to get dark.
After checking in to our hotel and taking a shower, we took a stroll down the main, touristy street in the city center and found ourselves winding up at Phubarn Cafe, a beautifully-decorated chilling spot that sits along the Nam Song River.
Next to the cafe was an old bamboo bridge in a rather run-down condition, connecting both sides of the Nam Song River.
I’m Ken, a passionate traveller from Sarawak on the exotic island of Borneo. Currently a teacher in a rural town in Southern Thailand, from time to time I share on this blog my experiences teaching the kids and living a laid-back lifestyle here. With its focus on all things Thailand, mrdefinite.net also features a handful of stories about my travel adventures in other Asian countries.