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Published: March 14th 2013
In order to be able to stay in Thailand for another few months when I have finished teaching I needed to transfer my visa from a working visa to a tourist visa and so this involved leaving the country and crossing the boarder back. Luckily we live just 10 minutes from the boarder with Laos and there is a frienship bridge connecting the two countries so we were quite fortunate.
We looked online and it all seemed a bit confusing so we decided to book a visa run package with 'savan vegas' a massive hotel and casino situated on the boarder of Thailand, on the Laos side! They sent a mini van to pick us up and drive us to the boarder where the team at the savan vegas boarder sorted all our departure cards for us and we got stamped out of thailand before driving for 5 minutes over the bridge and arriving in Laos. After paying 1500 baht and filling in a short form we were given Laos visas and then travelled on to the hotel. At the hotel we filled in more forms, this time for our Thai Visa, paid 1000 baht and one of the visa
team went off to the immigration office with our passports and visa application, which would be ready to collect at 2pm the next day.
So it was only 9am and we were in Laos and thought we would make the most of it, so we got a taxi into Savannakhet and found that there was absolutely nothing to do. We had a walk around for about an hour and looked at all the buildings before heading down to the river Mekong and having drinks overlooking Mukdahan - it was funny seeing it from the other side of the river as we are usually looking over into Laos. (Note for future: Laos beer is amazing, but deadly!).
We then found a lovely french restaurant (Savannakhet has a lot of french influence) and tucked into the most amazing cheese and chip baguettes, it was like food heaven. We got a tuk tuk back to the hotel and spent the afternoon lazing around in 5 star luxury watching the movie channel, we must have watched at least 3 movies back to back. I took full advantage of having a bath tub and had a long bubble bath (i can’t even begin
to explain how much i miss having baths after 5 months of showers). Then we went down for dinner which was all free and then back up to get ready before hitting the casino. We spent a bit of money but were completely clueless so decided to settle for sitting at the bar in the middle of the casino with a beer watching everyone else instead.
On the Sunday we went for lunch in the hotel and then had a complimentary thai massage before collecting our passports and heading home. We went back over the bridge, through immigration and got stamped back into Thailand; we are not legally allowed here until 10th
may so all is good J
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