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  1. #81

    Some info about long stay

    It's really easy for a long stay in Laos now. There are new apartments and condos for rent popping up all over the city. The price for rental is more expensive than Thailand. Expect to pay at least 500 USD for nicer and cleaner studio, or 800 USD up for a nicer one bed room for monthly. There are quite a few more luxury apartments, but expect to pay around 1000 up for one bed room. There is also a chain of monthly apartment with 7? Apartments in different locations called AVS. I never stay there but I think they have more economical rooms for 300 up. Mekong apartment which I stayed before also has cheaper monthly room for about 500/ month. AB apartment which I also stayed before also has very nice one bed room for 1000. There are now so many variety of long term accommodations to choose from. I have seen some rental agencies in town, never use them, but can be helpful looking for condo.

    About the visa, you can easily stay 90 days at one time. Come in with a visa on arrival, then extend it before it expires, for 2 US a day, can extend for 30 days, then can do it again till 90 days. Then go to Nong Khai border and make a you-turn and buy a new visa, the process starts again for another 90 days. I met really a lot of expats that have been doing this for years and years. Be sure to extend the visa before expires, otherwise they charge you 10 USD a day after visa expires. I have been offered one year multiple business visa many times by different agents. Maybe I will fix a one year visa if I commit more time in Laos. There are also tons of expats on this type visa without really doing any business. The agent can fix for you for a service charge. With this visa, the good point is you can buy a car which is convenient for our hobby and do not need to pay extension fees every 30 days.

  2. #80
    Anyone around in VTE in the next few weeks? Going to be there for a longish stint.

  3. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by RedKilt  [View Original Post]
    Sorry about my comment about Landmark. I had forgotten that the new Landmark Mekong Riverfront was open now.

    I don't agree that it is far from the Night Market or central Vientiane. It is very easy to get a taxi to come for you and take you where you want, and if you're staying in Landmark then costs are clearly not an issue. I have several numbers of reliable taxi operators if you want me to PM them to you.

    They will come when called, usually very quickly.

    New cars, with meters. Very obliging, nice guys, and if the driver cannot come when you want him he will send one of his friends. Sure it's more expensive than tuk tuks but still cheap compared to anywhere else in the world.
    Yeah, cost is something I'm not more concerned about. I just want to try Landmark, since it'd be an onetime experience. When I come out in the afternoon / evening I always prefer to walk with my lady rather than taking a taxi, it kind of feels romantic to me to walk alongside my girl along the shores of Mekong.

    For taxis, I'd say: Bargained Taxi = Non-bargained Tuk Tuk. In my last visit (early June), we queried a tuk tuk for 'Buddha Park" up-down (I suggested to take the local bus experience, but my GF preferred the other way. Lao girls always prefer the easy and comfortable way. LOL) and the driver quote 250 k Kips. Afterwards my GF bargained with a local taxi driver and we got the up-down deal for something around 200 k Kips, which included Aircon and a 2 Hrs wait.

    God knows when Uber will launch in Vientiane!

    It'd be very helpful to get reliable numbers from you.

  4. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicalToM  [View Original Post]
    Thanks for your good comments on higher end hotels. Yes, I'm exploring Vientiane at the moment and might be wrong on my definition of "high-end". However, I'm planning to stay at Landmark in my next visit, but concerned about the transportation since it's a bit far from Night Market and central Vientiane. Heard they provide free shuttle service, may be someone who already have stayed there could provide some light.
    Sorry about my comment about Landmark. I had forgotten that the new Landmark Mekong Riverfront was open now.

    I don't agree that it is far from the Night Market or central Vientiane. It is very easy to get a taxi to come for you and take you where you want, and if you're staying in Landmark then costs are clearly not an issue. I have several numbers of reliable taxi operators if you want me to PM them to you.

    They will come when called, usually very quickly.

    New cars, with meters. Very obliging, nice guys, and if the driver cannot come when you want him he will send one of his friends. Sure it's more expensive than tuk tuks but still cheap compared to anywhere else in the world.

  5. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by LaoMan  [View Original Post]
    There is no Landmark Hotel in Vientiane. . . . There is a lot of nonsense posted in some of these reports.
    You're wrong LaoMan (it's always risky to accuse others of posting nonsense and then to do it yourself).

    The new, very fancy and expensive Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel is now open.

    It's the choice of most diplomats, and several delegations stayed there recently during the international governance convention.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaoMan  [View Original Post]
    High end places, apart from those already mentioned, are the Ansara and Salana as well as a few others around. There is a lot of nonsense posted in some of these reports. There are plenty of Viet brothels around and they are about 150.000, not the prices quoted here.
    I have stayed in Ansara and Salana and neither of them are high-end (at least not as far as rates are concerned). I saw some Japanes guests with obvious local partners while I was there and they seemed to go past reception without hassle.

    The premium 5-star places are Settha Palace, Landmark Riverfront and Lao Plaza.

    4-star places are plentiful (I'd put Ansara and Salana along with Sabaidee at Lao and others in as 4-star).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaoMan  [View Original Post]
    There is a lot of nonsense posted in some of these reports. There are plenty of Viet brothels around and they are about 150.000, not the prices quoted here.
    How about you identify the "nonsense" and disprove it with facts.

    Some of us (like me) are in Vientiane working and need to be discreet. The last thing I want to do it go to a Viet brothel just to save money.

    I am happy to pay $40 - 50 USD (300 - 400K kip) for a session with someone tapped from more reputable sources and with a little more 'class". Just my opinion of course.

  6. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Chacal60  [View Original Post]
    Great posts ShinShin. I am returning to VNT in Oct or Nov, and considering a condo rental rather than a hotel. Is it considered GF to bring a date back to your rental, or as with most hotels is it strictly prohibited?

    Thanks. See.
    I think others have answered for me. In my experiences all the hotels are very girl friendly except maybe these few top class hotels which I never stay before. If you still have worry then stay in a hotel attached to a brothel / karaoke / disco / clubs, these are total guarantee for companion friendly hotels. If you need some suggestions, PM me. By the way the monthly condo places are all guest friendly.

  7. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by RedKilt  [View Original Post]
    It seems to me that when you brought the 2 girls into your room it was early evening (before dinner). Most hotels everywhere (and also in Laos) have no problems with visitors in rooms before 10 pm, so that's probably why it was OK.

    You mentioned "Landmark" as a high-end hotel which is, of course, in Bangkok. There are very few "high-end" hotels in Vientiane as you no doubt know, but perhaps you don't if you're using Landmark as an example.

    If you read back through this forum, you will see that of the 2 or 3 high-end hotels in Vientiane (like Lao Plaza and Settha Palace), Lao Plaza seems to require a "joiner fee", so if you have booked for 2 and she checks in with you it will be interesting to see if they waive the "fee". Hotels also ask to see passports and I D too so that might cause an incident if you're a foreigner and she is a local.

    I always stay in higher-end hotels in Vientiane (4-star, not Lao Plaza or Settha Palace) when I visit for work, but never bring back girls. I allow the girl to choose the ST places because they know them, and so far there have been no problems.
    Thanks for your good comments on higher end hotels. Yes, I'm exploring Vientiane at the moment and might be wrong on my definition of "high-end". However, I'm planning to stay at Landmark in my next visit, but concerned about the transportation since it's a bit far from Night Market and central Vientiane. Heard they provide free shuttle service, may be someone who already have stayed there could provide some light.

    Coming to the bringing girls stuff you talked about, I don't think I ever will be able to explore that area since I stay in Vientiane with my GF only. I definitely don't go Lao for mongering, either it's for tourism or to meet GF's family. But in either cases she stays with me, never alone to explore other opportunities. I always book hotel for 2 occupants and even before checking-in make it clear that my GF would be joining me, sometimes she come late to hotel if staying home. Last time before making the booking I emailed couple of hotels and it was a clear case of a couple checking-in. But you might be right on bringing up another guest, if it's late in the night one might get questions asked to him.

    Have you explored any good Hotels in North side of the city, the less crowded area?

  8. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by RedKilt  [View Original Post]
    It seems to me that when you brought the 2 girls into your room it was early evening (before dinner). Most hotels everywhere (and also in Laos) have no problems with visitors in rooms before 10 pm, so that's probably why it was OK.

    You mentioned "Landmark" as a high-end hotel which is, of course, in Bangkok. There are very few "high-end" hotels in Vientiane as you no doubt know, but perhaps you don't if you're using Landmark as an example.
    There is no Landmark Hotel in Vientiane. High end places, apart from those already mentioned, are the Ansara and Salana as well as a few others around. There is a lot of nonsense posted in some of these reports. There are plenty of Viet brothels around and they are about 150.000, not the prices quoted here.

  9. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicalToM  [View Original Post]
    Recently I stayed at a hotel near "Talat Sao Shopping mall", the staff were all Vietnamese. On the first evening my GF came over with a friend of her's and they stayed in my room for 1 HR before we headed out for dinner. No body asked us any question neither while entering nor while coming out.

    But typically if you stay at high end hotels like "Landmark", they sometimes poke into your personal life if you bring unannounced guests. They think if you bring working ladies then it may affect their reputation, but never mind "money" is something which can make everything happen in Lao.

    I'll be taking a lay-over at Vientiane (2 days maybe) in the month of Sept before heading to my GF's country side home. Planning to book a high end hotel this time to see how things are.
    It seems to me that when you brought the 2 girls into your room it was early evening (before dinner). Most hotels everywhere (and also in Laos) have no problems with visitors in rooms before 10 pm, so that's probably why it was OK.

    You mentioned "Landmark" as a high-end hotel which is, of course, in Bangkok. There are very few "high-end" hotels in Vientiane as you no doubt know, but perhaps you don't if you're using Landmark as an example.

    If you read back through this forum, you will see that of the 2 or 3 high-end hotels in Vientiane (like Lao Plaza and Settha Palace), Lao Plaza seems to require a "joiner fee", so if you have booked for 2 and she checks in with you it will be interesting to see if they waive the "fee". Hotels also ask to see passports and I D too so that might cause an incident if you're a foreigner and she is a local.

    I always stay in higher-end hotels in Vientiane (4-star, not Lao Plaza or Settha Palace) when I visit for work, but never bring back girls. I allow the girl to choose the ST places because they know them, and so far there have been no problems.

  10. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Chacal60  [View Original Post]
    Great posts ShinShin. I am returning to VNT in Oct or Nov, and considering a condo rental rather than a hotel. Is it considered GF to bring a date back to your rental, or as with most hotels is it strictly prohibited?

    Thanks. See.
    Quote Originally Posted by RedKilt  [View Original Post]
    The rules are a bit more relaxed now Chacal especially for hotels, as long as you are not too "in your face" about it when you bring home a visitor.

    For condotel and apartment rentals, such as Air bnb and others, there should be nobody to check on your business.

    Read the rental clause carefully. Most Air bnb allow at least 2 and often 3 residents, and there are always clauses about additional visitors. Unless you are renting a room in a dwelling where the landlord also lives, then there should be no "moral police" around to check on you.
    I'm not sure about Serviced Apartments / Monthly Rentals but when it comes to Hotels, as per my experience it's better to book the room for 2 people rather than 1, of-course if you have plans for bringing somebody. Like 'Red Kilt' said, hotel people don't interfere into your business unless you do something which affects their business.

    Recently I stayed at a hotel near "Talat Sao Shopping mall", the staff were all Vietnamese. On the first evening my GF came over with a friend of her's and they stayed in my room for 1 HR before we headed out for dinner. No body asked us any question neither while entering nor while coming out.

    But typically if you stay at high end hotels like "Landmark", they sometimes poke into your personal life if you bring unannounced guests. They think if you bring working ladies then it may affect their reputation, but never mind "money" is something which can make everything happen in Lao.

    I'll be taking a lay-over at Vientiane (2 days maybe) in the month of Sept before heading to my GF's country side home. Planning to book a high end hotel this time to see how things are.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Chacal60  [View Original Post]
    Great posts ShinShin. I am returning to VNT in Oct or Nov, and considering a condo rental rather than a hotel. Is it considered GF to bring a date back to your rental, or as with most hotels is it strictly prohibited?

    Thanks. See.
    The rules are a bit more relaxed now Chacal especially for hotels, as long as you are not too "in your face" about it when you bring home a visitor.

    For condotel and apartment rentals, such as Air bnb and others, there should be nobody to check on your business.

    Read the rental clause carefully. Most Air bnb allow at least 2 and often 3 residents, and there are always clauses about additional visitors. Unless you are renting a room in a dwelling where the landlord also lives, then there should be no "moral police" around to check on you.

  12. #70

    Long term rentals GF?

    Great posts ShinShin. I am returning to VNT in Oct or Nov, and considering a condo rental rather than a hotel. Is it considered GF to bring a date back to your rental, or as with most hotels is it strictly prohibited?

    Thanks. See.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShinShin  [View Original Post]
    Very quiet forum for a long time. Time to input something. I had a long stay in Vientiane recently. There are now lots of new monthly condos you can rent all over town. I paid for a quite nice one bedroom plus all utilities for about little bit over 1200 US / month. Scooter rental is still cheap, for automatic about 90 k Kip or less a day. Longer term like a month you get 10-20% discount. Most places want you to deposit passport there for short term rental, but for long term rental, they demand a deposit of 500-1000 US depend on the type of scooter and different shops. I also rented a car many times, the rental price in Laos is still more expensive than Thailand, Malaysia, and other SEA countries, I rented small Toyota, and small Hyundai, all around 50 USD a day.

    I also extended my visa once, it's so easy, extend it before expire, you tell them how many days you want to extend, it's 2 dollar charge per day, if you extend 15 more days, it's still cheaper than making a visa run to Nong Khai if you have to pay 30-40 visa fee, save the hassle as well, but if you want extend whole month, probably just go to Friendship Bridge and make a u-turn back and buy one more visa is cheaper.

    I covered quite a lot of territories this trip, the stay in Vientiane is really enjoyable, but of course the expenses are much higher than Thailand, the good food (nice clean food is expensive here), the clean and nice accommodation, the car rental all add up very quickly.

    The scenes covered in this forum years ago all stay pretty much the same, except overall prices are higher now in most places compared to 1-2 years ago. There are now more and more local pick up spots in the south of Kampengmuang Road, I found lots of more shops that I previously never noticed. All locals not a foreigner to be seen in this whole area, but I enjoyed it, not much trouble at all. You can eat and drink with them, and take them for LT or ST, they have onsite rooms as well, but I mostly took them back for LT, still many fresh unspolied unjaded cuties here and there. Also found more little Viet shops in disguise all over the suburb. Just a guide line, ST on site in all these local shops are around 200000 kip and LT all under 500000 kip. I bargained a few places down to 350000 to 400000 kip LT. But they will all quote you 500 k.

    One good find was a new China Donguang style sauna. Before there were 2 similar style joints some years ago, but are closed or relocated that I could not find anymore, one day, I was driving all over the suburb, and I passed a hotel with a group of Chinese businessmen entering the hotel side door, so I parked my car and decided to investigate, and the hotel bellboy just said to me even before I asked anything, sauna is open already, said in Lao language.

    It's a genuine Dongguang style sauna, and all girls are from China, price is quite high, but so as the quality of girls extremely high, seems like a special place to serve specially to their Chinese compatriots in Vientiane, but non Chinese all welcome, the manager told me. 80 min from 1000000 kip to 1500000 kip or pay in USD 125 USD to 185 USD per session, the taller ones are in higher category. I ended up visiting this place 7 times during my 45 day stay. The girls I had all allowed me multiple pops, not sure if every one does that. The service is identical to Changping saunas. If any old long term member interested about this new Changping Dongguang style sauna I found recently, can PM me for location.

  13. #69

    About BJ in Laos

    Something just pop out of my mind, like to add something general about girls' services. If you are a big blow job fan, then Lao maybe not a fun place for you. The girls are all younger and fresher than in Cambodia or Thailand, there are lots of late teens and early 20's in all kinds of venues, and in my experience the girls in Lao local scene are more girlfriendly than the tourist brothels, tourist brothels are all quite mechanical. If you take them LT from the very local joints, they really have some GF feel. But in general, the BJ ratio is low in Laos, I did not really count, exclude the China babes in sauna where they are using tongue as their main weapon, I had about 30 Lao girls in 45 days, and I think got only about 7 BJs, I think 2-3 are covered. Also I think I had about 4-5 Viet girls and got CBJ or BBBJ from all of them for some extra fee. So keep this in mind, BJ fan will not enjoy Laos.

  14. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by MusicalToM  [View Original Post]
    I haven't rented a scooter in Vientiane since a friend of my GF was having one. But I've rented scooters in Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang and it was awesome. You go to any small or big agency, they ask for Passport without which they never agree. As per my experience it's very much safe to give them the Passport since they handle and keep it safely. To be specific, in Vang Vieng this rental agency took my passport, wrapped it with a A4 size blank paper and mentioned my name, vehicle registration number on it. They all keep it on a drawer or a hanging cupboard which can be accessed only by staff.
    I have never had a problem renting anything either despite refusing to give my passport as a deposit.

    There are always other alternatives.

    My original point was that IMHO anyone who hands over his passport to a rental agency like this is taking a big risk.

    I have no doubts that the agency will take good care of your passport, but once you hand over your passport you have lost ALL bargaining rights if the rental agency wants more money because of dents, scratches etc whether they were there before or not.

    There are plenty of documented cases of unscrupulous agents taking advantage of foreigners who hand over their passports, as explained to me by embassy staff in both Thailand and Laos.

  15. #67

    Scooter Rental experience

    Quote Originally Posted by RedKilt  [View Original Post]
    Great detailed report ShinShin. Thanks for that.

    Just a couple of points to add to your post from someone who has spent a great deal of time in Vientiane over recent years.

    NEVER EVER give your passport to a rental agency as deposit for anything. Offer a copy of your passport or negotiate to give a cash deposit instead but NEVER relinquish your passport. My Government is very firm about this, and advise us never to hand over the passport. If the renter will not accept an alternative then be assertive and walk away.
    I haven't rented a scooter in Vientiane since a friend of my GF was having one. But I've rented scooters in Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang and it was awesome. You go to any small or big agency, they ask for Passport without which they never agree. As per my experience it's very much safe to give them the Passport since they handle and keep it safely. To be specific, in Vang Vieng this rental agency took my passport, wrapped it with a A4 size blank paper and mentioned my name, vehicle registration number on it. They all keep it on a drawer or a hanging cupboard which can be accessed only by staff.

    I rented multiple times both from big and small rental agencies and never had a problem with anybody. Smaller agencies tend to be more relaxed than larger agencies, but scooter quality isn't guaranteed. I haven't tried but my GF told me some agencies even accept any official ID proof as deposit, not sure whether it's true.

    All-in-all, I felt the rental part a bit less relaxed when compared to Thailand, but it's hassle free unlike Thailand where even a small dent mark could invite unnecessary fines from you. But renting a scooter is always fun and saves money you are supposed to give to taxis. And if you are giving your passport while renting then keep 1-2 copies of it with you, may be one with you always and one with your luggage securely at your hotel.

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