I went on a Thailand visa run over the past 5 days to Vientiane, Laos to get the 2x Tourist visa which keeps me in the country (TH) for 6 months. Tourist visas (even the 2x multiple is currently free – so if you haven’t picked one up and you need one – now is the time. They are free until March 2011. Which day in March – I can’t remember, but Vientiane Thai Consulate is probably going to stop giving out the 2x soon since it will go past March if you go much later than now.
This is about an underwear thief though.
First off – if you think the hotels in Thailand leave something to be desired at the 1,000 THB per day level… let me ask you 2 questions:
1. Have you ever had your underwear stolen (2 pair) at a 1,000 THB per night Thailand hotel?
2. Have you ever been sitting naked on the hotel bed with your notebook computer on your lap and someone coming down the stairwell of the story above you looks straight in a window that leads directly into your room?
Both happened to me at the Hotel Khamvongsa in Vientiane, Laos.
First, let me say that the people there are lovely. There is even a 20 year old (maybe) girl from Sweden working the front desk. She is awesome, and so were all the Thai staff. Really nice.
Something happened to 2 pair of my undies though, and that’s a little weird. Whenever I take a hotel room in Thailand, USA, anywhere in the world – I never get the maid service. I don’t need it. I guess I don’t stay long enough to feel like I need it.
So – I told them, no maid.
Still… undies gone. I searched the entire room twice and emptied my backpack completely out.
2 pair gone. I was then forced to get through the next 3 days with 1 pair of undies because I had dirtied the first pair. I mean I sweat in them, OK?
Now, I have had undies go missing from my laundry at a Chinese laundromat in Phuket – on a COUPLE of occasions. That sucked. You know how hard it is to find farang-sized undies in Thailand? It’s impossible. I’ve YET to find them. So, I import my favorite jockey grape-huggers at large expense.
Ok, so, enough about the undies missing. I’ll have a video up at YouTube sometime shortly.
Now, I’m sitting there naked on the bed trying hopelessly to catch up on hundreds of emails that piled up quickly. I had opened up all the drapes in my room, not thinking for 1 second that the drapes near the stairwell actually opened up TO the stairwell. I heard a few people come down the steps over the previous couple hours… then, a woman looked INTO the window at me sitting there and it scared the hell out of me. She jumped back and I heard her laughing with other people that were coming down the steps at the same time.
It was a classic Thailand moment that I’ve had, in similar but different situations… asking myself over and over…
Did they REALLY build this room with a window right into my room from the public stairwell?
They really did.
Hmm, what else could I tell you about the trip?
There is an Indian food place on the river – a yellow signed place, and I ate there about 5 years ago and it was great. This time I got the chicken biryani – and it had curry, but also tasted strangely, Mexican. The nan bread was great. The Beerlao – quite nice.
The taxis there are scary expensive. I went about 1km to the Thai consulate for my visa – never asking the guy about $. I wanted to have him take me around everywhere. Real nice guy. Buy the time I took 4 trips I was ready to ask him to take me to the Nong Khai Friendship Bridge border. I said, “How much I owe you for the other 4 trips? I was expecting – about 400 THB. He said, 250 THB per trip! I said, wow. I’ll get a bus to the border, thanks dude. He was going to charge 400 THB to go to the border. I got a tuk tuk for 50 baht – shared with 4 others.
There are some Laos salespeople at the mall in Vientiane that are ravenous for a sale. They are like vultures that won’t let you go if you stop to look at one thing they have. I was looking at a 300 THB extendable cane for walking – but which I was almost sure I could turn into a cool snake-hook for hunting them. The lady was so irritating I told her – Jai yen, jai yen, embarrassing her in front of her other staff… and making her more worked up. She was like an LA car salesman at the end of the month without a sale. It soured the mall trip. Oh, so did the expensive coffee and pineapple croissant type creation.
Hmm, what else?
Oh, your phone. Get a roaming package for Laos from Thailand before you go. I tried repeatedly to choose different roaming providers – even AIS which I have the service with, and, once in Laos I couldn’t do it at all. Made for a shitty 3 days without contact with wife and baby.
I think that’s about it. Longest post in a while. I have some good videos coming up on YouTube at my channel: