Tough Journey of Laos: Blessing in Disguised!


There is a huge distinct difference between travellers and tourists: Travellers are almost risk takers whilst tourists have great adherence towards the road other people had explored and great assurance of safety.

Well I believe every travellers yearned to be a tourist sometime, whereby everything is all under situation, WHEN.THEY.ARE.HELPLESS! This happened to monster and me during the travelling in Laos, a tough journey from the beginning to the end of the trip.

Imagine the exhaustion and the frustration when you have Malaysia Ringgit but not being accepted by Laos. That happens to both of us when we brought Malaysia Ringgit not changing enough Thai Baht (since we couldnt find any money exchanger who has Laos Kips and Laos generally accept Thai Baht even for small enterprise or even tuk tuk!). Even if there is, Malaysia Ringgit is exchange in super low currency!

Come back to the journey. We only have 45,000 Kips in our hand, which is only RM18 in Luang Prabang to spend after had our dinner to find accommodation for a night stay in Luang Prabang. (I still cannot bear the thought of being that poor for my entire life!) We wonder around to find cheap accommodation. I can bear the thought of overnighting in any 24/7 restaurant or even the bus station, but the monster insisted on getting a roof on top of us for the night before we travel back to Vientiane.

We ask around for the direction and location of cheap hotels/hostels/room. And the nearest the hotel to the Mekong River, the more expensive the place is. So I prayed we could really survive this night. I mean we definitely will survive the night, on whether the condition is good or no.

We walk and ask around, avoiding the grand ones since we cant even afford it and we have zero Thai Baht and only relying on the 45,000 kips. Nothing we can do that time.

Then there is this local sitting in front of a guesthouse, talking to the guests living inside, suddenly called us up: You want a room?

Our eyes brightened.

“How much?”
“60,000 kips.(its around RM24)”
“We only have 45,000 kips.”

He rolled his eyes: How can you have 45,000 kips to survive in this place? I believe he doesnt know the bitterness of having money in different currency but is not accepted in this land.

“But we only have 45,000 kips.”

God answered my prayer really. And turns our monster’s prayer too because he did pray too.

He bargained with us. We bargained with him. We are willing to pay using RM. But he seems reluctant (maybe have never heard of Malaysia hmm how sad) to accept RM. Then he asked the owner of the guesthouse in his language which we dont understand.

“45”
“But we only have RM18!”
“No. 45,000 kips!”
“45,000 kips?”
“Yes 45,000 kips”
“Really 45,000 kips?”
“YES!”

And we got the room for a night, for RM18, US dollar should be 5 something.

And I say, the room is not a normal room, its 3-people room with attached bathroom, towels, romantic light, by the Mekong River.

And I couldnt help myself but thank God for this.

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Song’s Place or Phabang Guesthouse.
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