3. Riding The Rails: Vientiane Departure
Vientiane Railway Station
After an uneventful night, we got up early and were pleasantly surprised that we could get a cup of (instant) coffee in the lobby.
After check out our driver appeared and off we went to the railway station.
Although this station is 16 km out of town it didn’t take long as the driver had the habit to ignore red lights whenever there was no other traffic!
A weird sight to see a massive building popping up in the countryside, according to David (since he had traveled by high-speed train in China) classic Chinese style.
More interesting were a couple of food stalls selling baguettes nearby!
We got out of the van and walked back to get our breakfast.
Loaded with half a baguette each we headed for Mr. Dao’s coffee stall in front of the station, from experience we knew that to be excellent coffee!
Two polite dogs sat down in front of us waiting for any leftovers…
After a satisfying meal, we decided to join the queue at the entrance of the station, just ticket checking, but later we would find out this to be repeated several times during the journey.
Inside the station, everything seemed to be very organized, another Mr. Dao shop, a VIP lounge, plenty of chairs, etc.
Luckily we had left our guns and dynamite at home...
The only odd thing I found was the toilets, spotlessly clean, but without paper or bum spray!
In order to get to the platform we followed another line of passengers, mainly Laotians and some Chinese, but not many Westerners.
Showing our tickets again we walked towards our train.
It looked very new and sleek, but also very unLaotian (if such a word exists!).
We boarded the train, inside too everything was spotlessly clean, and 3 + 2 rows of seats with ample leg space (even for tall Dutch dudes like me).
Luggage racks on the sides, monitors above the doors providing info in Lao, Chinese, and English, as well as a snack bar!
Underneath our seats were plug sockets for charging our mobiles…
I guess we all felt a bit flabbergasted (in a positive way) to have this experience in Laos!
Fascinating contrast between David & the 2 ladies behind us!
Right on time (08.00) the train departed, the only thing missing was a ‘Fasten your seatbelt’ sign, but the train accelerated not fast.
Oudomxay, here we come!