Sunday 18th November 2012
19.11.2012 32 °C
Breakfast is served in a lovely open sided mezzanine restaurant overlooking the street and is very good. The weather is lovely. It is early and is not yet too hot. After breakfast I go for a walk to take a few more pictures of Vientiane while Tony finishes the packing. On my travels I meet Casper and Karen who are also doing a bit of sightseeing but as they are spending another two nights in the city they can afford to be more leisurely. I whizz around taking photos. The river still looks very low and I don't see any boats on it at all. At 10.30 the mini van driver we have been using for the last couple of days picked us up. He brought his father with him as he hadn't got his papers with him and drove us to the Friendship Bridge which is the border between Laos and Thailand. He dropped us off and his father guided us through visa control and then passport control and then introduced us to a Thai taxi driver he had ordered who in turn helped us go through Thai passport control and then drove us to Udon Thani airport. We probably paid a bit over the odds for all this but it was great to have people show us where to queue etc as it was the usual chaos. We arrived at the airport really early for our flight (yes even earlier than usual!) so we went to the restaurant in the airport but it didn't look very nice at all. Luckily we found somewhere to eat just outside the airport buildings and had a really good meal. The family running it were charming. We felt slightly smug when we went back into the airport and saw people eating Thai versions of a hot dog (it looked horrible) and other equally disgusting food.
Our flight left on time. The plane was really comfortable with nice leather seats and we had much more legroom on this Air Asia flight than on our BA flight from London. We arrived in Phuket early and within a couple of minutes of landing the doors were opened and our luggage arrived very quickly. All very efficient. We were relieved that our prearranged taxi driver was waiting for us. The drive to Khao Lak took just over an hour. The hotel is lovely. The owners Bruno and Marcus are Swiss from Biel and as you can imagine everything is immaculate.
After showing us round we don't even unpack as we are starving and get a tuktuk to a restaurant they recommend. The food is ok but rather westernised for my liking. We are looking forward to seeing everything in daylight.