Friday, August 2, 2013

Daytrip to Thailand

When we came to Laos, we could only apply for a 30-day visa. So, after 3 weeks in Laos, we had to do a "visa run" to Thailand to renew our visa and apply for a visa that is good for one year.  So, last Saturday, we decided to make a daytrip out of it and do some shopping, since we've been told by numerous people, "You can find anything you need in Laos, and anything you can't find in Laos, you can find in Thailand." We were on the hunt for a freezer because we were also told that quality meat is easier to come by in Thailand than in Laos. Then we just kind of looked around at some of the major stores. They have Makro, which is like Costco, and Big C which is like Walmart, Global House and HomePro which are much like Home Depot or Lowe's, and then they have a HUGE mall, Central Plaza.

Here's a cool arch over the road as you come into Nong Khai, the first city over the border.
Another cool arch.
I don't think you can see it very well, but above the stoplight, there's a number--they had a timer on the stoplights for red and green to tell you how many seconds were left! How cool is that?? I hope they get those in the U.S. someday.
A picture of the countryside between cities. Lots of huts, raised huts, rice paddies, and fruit stands.
Another weird food picture for my brother: spicy lobster flavored Lay's Potato Chips.
A bathroom at a gas station...

More food... Yum! (59 baht, that's about 2 bucks)
Donuts made to look like nigiri sushi! So cute!

A Dairy Queen in Big C.

Unfortunately... no English translation on the sign...

Maybe there are malls in the U.S. that have this, but I was pretty impressed: an ice skating rink on the 5th floor of Central Plaza. There was also a bowling alley and a movie theater on that floor...

There was a train at the mall that was free if you spent 300 baht in the mall--about 10 bucks. You just show them a receipt. Pretty cool!

McDonald's! I couldn't get enough of Ronald McDonald :)

I know this is probably culturally unacceptable, but I thought it was so crazy to have Ronald being so... Thai, and I wanted to join in... and for those of you who heard that I bought a Lao skirt called a sinh, here's a picture:
The kids took turns sleeping. Bobby fell asleep as soon as we left the mall.
And Scott fell asleep after waiting about an hour at the border to come back to Laos--there was a mix-up with our paperwork.
Scott was really out... :) Such a big day for a little world traveler.
It was a fun trip, but pretty tiring waiting at the border on the way in and out of two countries. Next time it should be faster now that we have stay visas. We are already planning our next trip to Thailand to see the aquarium in Nong Khai, and then to see Monsters University at Central Plaza in Udon Thani. Should be fun!

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