Laos: Vientiane - AV Hotel & Noy's fruit heaven

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ever since 2008, my family has a tradition of escaping for a holiday during Chinese New Year. I do miss spending Chinese New Year at my grandma's house but I also love going on new adventures. We've been going around South East Asia and I can proudly say that we're almost done visiting each country in the region.

Since we've been to Thailand and Indonesia so many times, my mom decided that we should venture into Laos! I was quite skeptical about Laos but boy I was wrong. I really did enjoy and love Laos very much.

We took AirAsia since it was the cheapest flight fare available, it didn't matter much to me because the flight was only about 2 hours.

Before I travelled to Laos, I checked on the weather and it was almost the same with Malaysia so I brought along all my thin clothing. I was so worried when I stepped out the plane because it was only 16 °C? So cooling!

Obligatory touristy airport picture!
Everything went on smoothly and we're off to change some currencies after passing through the customs. There is only ONE money changer right after you collect your luggage. We almost changed all our money but there was this girl who told us that the rate in town is much better. She advised us to change just enough for transportation. *Good Tip*

Note: You cannot change Lao Kip(Laos' currencies) in Malaysia, I don't think any money changer is trading them.

Picture from Agoda
We only booked AV hotel thru Agoda 5-6 hours before this trip! The reason we chose them because it is near to most of the tourist attractions, affordable and they also provide free airport transfers! We did opt for the airport transfer and I was so worried nobody was there to pick us up. Fortunately, I spotted my name on a board right at the arrival exit. The staff helped us with our luggage and drove us to our hotel which was just 20 minutes away in a van.

We quickly checked in, change and off we go and venture into town. The town area is only 10-15 minutes away. We were so hungry and was dying to get something to calm our hunger until we stumbled upon a stall filled with fresh baguettes, cured meats and pate, herbs, and all sort of different sauces.

Khao Jie Pate is a local sandwich that only goes for 18,000Kip(RM7) but it is way better than Subway. This charcoal toasted baguette is so crunchy, chewy and delicious!

Since Laos was once under the French colonial administration and part of French Indochina for about 60 years, you’ll be able to notice French influence in their buildings, signage and also food! You can indulge in some delicious French-Lao fusion food; French flavors and techniques combined with local ingredients and spices.

After a few bites of the awesome sandwich, we were super energized to find more food! We ended up in this local shop that serves all sorts of noodles.

On the way to town, we passed by the Lao National Culture Hall which was situated next to the only Swensons in Vientiane. The hall has these simple gold structure engravings that I find very grand and similar to Thailand's.

I managed to find Noy's fruit heaven that was ranked no.10 in TripAdvisor. I must say that the juices are really amazing, fresh and indeed a thirst-quencher! And... FREE WIFI is provided! Another random thing is their toilet smells amazing and it's really clean. You can find a Tony Moly store opposite!

Juices are about 10,000 Kip (RM4) and Coffee is around 15,000 Kip (RM6)

We just continued to walk around town and experience Laos' lifestyle and culture. I found one departmental store and one supermarket where I was able to buy most of my groceries and souvenirs for the rest of my trip. Yes, there isn't much shopping to do in Vientiane.

We managed to change some more money and off we go to Ray's Grille Burgers & Mexican(ranked No.1 in TripAdvisor) for early dinner! It wasn't easy but with some help from the locals, we managed to find it! I will do a full review on Ray's Grille Burgers & Mexican on my next post!

Notes for a Laos trip:
  • You can use Malaysia Ringgit, Thai Baht & USD to change to Lao Kip.
  • Remember to change in town which has better rates! (Which shop has the best rate? Check Day 2)
  • There are Maybank, UOB in Vientiane, their rate is similar to other money changer rates.
  • People in Laos have a basic command of English, some can converse really well!
  • The weather is cooling but very sunny!
  • There is no Mcdonalds in Vientiane, as far as I know.
  • Do try their coffee and baguette! 
More on my Laos-Vientiane Trip
Day 1(Part 1): Hotel, Noy's fruit heaven
Day 1(Part 2): Ray's Grille Burgers & Mexican
Day 2: City Tour -  That Dam, Patuxai, Pha That Luang, Mekong River, Kua Lao Restaurant
Day 3: Wat Si Saket, Haw Phra Kaew, Chao Anouvong Park, Morning Market

With love, 
·  Carolyn ♥ · 

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