Vientiane Warnings and Dangers

  • avnue smoked as hell
    avnue smoked as hell
    by picek
  • Potholes in Road Outside Our Hotel
    Potholes in Road Outside Our Hotel
    by Mikebb
  • Broken Cover Over Roadside Drain - Main Street
    Broken Cover Over Roadside Drain - Main...
    by Mikebb

Best Rated Warnings and Dangers in Vientiane

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    watch the glare

    by richiecdisc Updated Dec 13, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    gold on blue

    Pha That Luang is the main attraction in Vientiane but if you are lucky enough to visit it on a bright sunny day, be sure to wear sunglasses. There are so many gold surfaces in the compound that the reflection is blinding. It does make for great photos against crysal blue skies though. :)

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

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  • yuet29's Profile Photo

    Wild life..

    by yuet29 Written Nov 12, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On Highway 13, sometimes after long drive you will see a stetch of houses, around 6-7 of them built along the road.

    These houses are in very basic structure.. using wood and leaves.. the bus can suddenly stop in front of a house and someone from the 'village' (6 houses can consider as a village?..) carrying a dead wolf or what run out, following by a group of children.. asking if the driver want to buy the animal.

    After negotiating the price, the driver refused to buy and the man and those children disappeared at the other corner of the house..

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  • yuet29's Profile Photo

    National Highway 13

    by yuet29 Written Nov 12, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Laos is pretty safe compared to other countries as long as you are in town/ village.. the most notorious National Highway 13 connecting Vientiane to Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang is well-known to be the worst you can expect, where the bus was in the middle of the highway, there can be no human being seen for hours of drive and robbers stop the bus .. probably shouting "hands-up, robbery".. .

    This road is the reason making foreighners take planes through-fro vientiane and luang prabang instead of taking bus. Some local told us, the robbery is quite often to occur, there is just a case happened a week before I reach there! haha..

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Long distances

    by SirRichard Written Sep 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wide avenues in the outskirts

    Apart from the town centre, there are spacious suburbs in Vientiane. In the map, the distances may seem short, but when you try to go walking it turns out to be more than 30-40 minutes.
    So if you go to Victory Monument, That Luang or so, take a tukTuk, they are cheap and will avoid you a good walk under the sun!

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  • Rodan44's Profile Photo

    UXO (Unexploded Ordnance)

    by Rodan44 Updated Nov 29, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    UXO Lao vehicle, Vientiane

    Laos has the dubious distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the history of warfare. During the war against North Vietnam, the U.S secretly (and illegally) conducted a massive bombing campaign of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in eastern Laos from 1964 until the ceasefire in 1973. Over this period more than 500,000 bombing missions were launched, dropping more than two million tonnes of ordnance. The bombing was concentrated in the north and southeastern provinces of the country.

    Most of the aerial bombardment consisted of anti-personnel cluster bombs filled with bomblet sub-munitions. Each cluster bomb container was filled with up to 670 individual bomblets, each one about the size of a tennis ball and capable of killing and/or injuring a number of people. It is estimated that up to 30% of these bomblets did not explode.

    Extensive ground battles also left a staggering amount of UXO including artillery and mortar shells, mines, rockets, grenades, and other devices from various countries of origin.

    Even today, some 30 years after the end of the war, the Lao countryside remains littered with innumerable UXO. In Laos, there have been over 11,000 reported UXO related deaths or injuries since the end of the war. Various government and international agencies are working diligently to clear UXO from Laos, but it is a painfully slow process. The impact of UXO both in humanitarian and development terms, is a significant constraining factor on a country struggling to overcome poverty.

    Note: The city of Vientiane does not pose a hazard from UXO. This warning is intended to alert travelers who are venturing out into the rural areas of the country.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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  • Visa on arrival

    by TheSentinel Written Dec 12, 2005

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    There is a long queue to get a visa on arrival at the airport.

    Try to get one before coming to Laos.

    Otherwise, try to sit near the front of the plane so you can get off first.

    Go straight to the visa on arrival queue, taking an application form (by the visa on arrival desk) and fill it in while you are queueing.

    Don't forget to take passport photos (you need only one) and $30 cash.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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  • thedouglas's Profile Photo

    Driver and "friend"

    by thedouglas Written May 20, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Driver attendant!!
    1 more image

    When we took the trip from Luang Prabang to Vientiane on the so-called first class bus, the experience was a once only! We firstly found out fairly quickly that there was no real efficient air conditioning - particularly on the mountainous road, in the heat of the middle of the day!

    Secondly, the driver had a "girlfriend" with him, sitting right on top of him in the front of the bus. She clearly needed a lot of attention - and gave as good as she demanded! While it was clear that full attention was required to drive over the steep hills, and poor road condition, she cuddled, kissed, prodded and cavorted with him - I think the low point was when I realised that she was picking his pimples!!! There was a collective sigh from the front passengers when she alighted at a town enroute!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
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  • muddybok's Profile Photo

    No Photos (in Si Sa Ket)

    by muddybok Updated Jun 8, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    No no nooo!!

    The pull out 35mm negative speaks about no photo taking of artifact at main chamber of Wat Si Sa Ket.

    But taking photograph on things outside the main chamber is however allowed. I don't know whether they going to take away your CF or MS if you're using a digital camera? May be they know that most aim & shot digital will not get the effect of SLR & they are not so worry about it.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

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  • picek's Profile Photo

    crossing the road becomes adventure

    by picek Updated Mar 20, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    avnue smoked as hell

    One first things we noticed when we returned to Vientiane after almost 4 years was increased traffic in the capital and main roads. This is silly - even there is nowhere to park the car anymore in centre people are still travelling in cars, just because they have air con inside. There were lots of modern public buses donated by Japan and guess what - they're driving half empty.

    Now, with that many cars the air quality got worse and with so many people driving without knowing how to drive or ignoring/not knowing the rules or both together you really have to pay more attention when you cross the roads than ever before. Ah! Not to mention rush hours. I also feel as a cyclist you're more vulnerable than pedestrian.

    Yeh, that's development - but the infrastructure remained more - or less, the same. In this respect, Vientiane is anything but sleepy capital by Mekong.

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    • Budget Travel

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  • Anne-Lieze's Profile Photo

    Going South from Pakse

    by Anne-Lieze Written May 21, 2007

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    When you go travel south of Pakse be carefull not only for mines but the more you go down,the more you can find yourself in 'red' the zone. It does not meant that 'red'zone is the end of the world it is only that those people have other ideals,values.Those are not better or worser than ours they are just different and we have to respect them and their world.

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  • LotusV8's Profile Photo

    Drugs

    by LotusV8 Written Feb 25, 2004

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    Lao tuk-tuk

    Most tuk-tuk drivers offer You drugs - usually Marihuana, if You are in that mode - start with a visit to a jail and realize that you don´t won´t to end there, It´s illegal and the punishment is .........

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    • Adventure Travel

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  • thedouglas's Profile Photo

    Holes in the Footpath - drowning trap!

    by thedouglas Updated May 26, 2007

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    These were massive, gaping holes where the full concrete cover was missing - and filled with foul looking and smelling water. Pays to watch where you are putting your feet, rather than ogling the closest temple or food outlet! Aaaarrghhh....the idea of ending up in here still makes me nauseated!

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    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

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  • lifemagic's Profile Photo

    vientiane atm charges

    by lifemagic Written Nov 27, 2009

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    All atms in Vientiane charge a fee, but they don't all warn you about it eg. BCEL.

    It's better to stick to the ANZ ones, light blue in colour, as they charge a standard 20,000 kip, are up front about it and they have the highest withdrawel limit, so it works out better value, but better then bcel, with is 70k per withdrawel, less than $100, so use it two or three times to get what you need, and pay a fee for each use!

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  • VolsUT's Profile Photo

    HEAT,HEAT!!!!

    by VolsUT Written Dec 4, 2009

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    Laos is a very hot and humid nation make sure you are prepaired. I am from a hot and humid place and Laos was almost too hot for me. Lots of water and cool off as often as possible the heat sneaks up on you before you know it!

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Rough Roads - Beware If Driving

    by Mikebb Written Dec 26, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Down The Water Drain - Concrete Cover Collapsed
    2 more images

    The roads within the Vientiane CBD left a little to be desired. Our hotel was located on one of the main streets and a van pulled up outside our hotel and the front wheel fell through the drain cover.

    10 metres from the van the road had potholes. As you move out of the city the roads we travelled on usually needed repair. Our stay was limited to 3 days and my assessment is based upon limited road use.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip

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Vientiane Warnings and Dangers

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