Made it to Vientiane OK and my 16th country this trip, with one stop at Pakse on the way up to pick up about 3 extra passengers. The first stop was a money changer in the airport – you hand him a $50 note and he gives you a shoe box full of Kip, as the largest denomination note that exists is worth about 25p. Strangely the exchange rate you seem to get is over 20% above the official bank changing rates. No idea why. On trying to leave for town, an official airport notice states that taxi fares must be prepaid and are no longer negotiable, to improve customer service. However, within about two minutes of finding out they wanted $6 a ride, myself and a Norwegian bloke negotiated a fare of slightly under $2 for the two of us.
The town seems quiet but clean, there’s a few temples around to look at (I can hardly wait!) but not a lot else happening. I will probably head north to Vang Vieng tomorrow.
Oh yeah, flight home from Bangkok is now currently set to 14th Oct!