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Thread: Road trip to Roi-et and Savannakhet

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Road trip to Roi-et and Savannakhet

    The Mrs and I are leaving Ranong on Saturday morning on a trip to see her family and for me to get a new visa in Savannakhet Laos. The plan originally was to go from Savannakhet to the far north and see friends in CM and CR, but buying a load of rental bikes and my expensive trip to Norway sort of drained me more than planed. So it's going to be a "mini" road trip mainly for Joy to meet up with her family (sister is back from Sweden, and others working in Bangkok is having a gathering) and for me to get my new visa sorted.
    We will probably have a stop over around Saraburi on the way up, and then we'll just see what happens from there on......Will keep you updated whenever I get internet access during the trip.
    It will probably not be very exciting reading, but I guess one time have to be the first to do a trip report.
    Cheers
    Geir
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    K2
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    Have a good trip...
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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Have a good trip...............wouldn't stop Saraburi it's a shit hole.............continue on and stop at Kao Yai, not too far on from Saraburi when you climb up into the gateway of Isaan

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geespot View Post
    Have a good trip...............wouldn't stop Saraburi it's a shit hole.............continue on and stop at Kao Yai, not too far on from Saraburi when you climb up into the gateway of Isaan
    Cheers, will look it up.....it will just be for a night sleep anyway.
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Enjoy.. Why didnt you get the visa in Norway ??

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Enjoy.. Why didnt you get the visa in Norway ??
    They're useless in Norway......only 3 months non imm O, or single entry tourist visa. And I had to go to Roi-et anyway, haven't seen her parents since we got married 4-5 years ago. Close to Savannakhet anyway.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    So here I am in a short time hotel close to Joys village. Nice little room for 350 Baht a day, aircon, fridge, hot shower, TV, wifi......pretty much all we need.
    The drive up north went very smooth, I put the cruise control on 140 kmph and arrived Bangkok in less than 6 hours. We took the elevated highway "over" Bangkok and stayed in a 500 Baht guesthouse 80km south of Nakhon Ratcasima for the night(forgot the name of it). This was the 3rd place we looked at as the other 2 was surprisingly full. Have to be good business having one of these resorts close to the main track to Issan.
    The next day we woke up early and headed for Joys village. It was Sunday, and the police seemed to have the day off so we escaped the fake tickets or Issan tax as I like to call it. We have probably been caught several times on speeding cameras on the way up here, so it will be interesting to see what the mail man will bring when we get back home.
    Anyway, we arrived Joys village around midday and it was the normal wai-ing to friends and family. Luckily the house next door to Joys parents were selling cold Leo and I managed to get pretty drunk before going back to the hotel. Joys sister (Jeab) have built a nice house for the parents, but I prefer the privacy of staying in a hotel. The house was just finished and they didn't have much furniture's yet. The funny thing was that Joys parents have a king size bed in their bedroom, but they've taken the mattress out and put it on the floor.....old habits I guess 55555
    It was a pleasant surprise to see that most of the young fit men had left the village for work. 5 years ago loads of them was just hanging around watching the rice grow. A lot of the houses was upgraded and it seemed like people had more money. Most of the younger generation have jobs in or around Bangkok while the kids stays with the gandparents in the village. Normally they come back once a month with fresh cash to see their kids and family.......They all seemed like a happy bunch, but I haven't had the chance to talk politics with them yet.
    I'm heading back to the village soon to help prepare tonight's Korean BBQ, Sangsom and Leo.
    More updates to follow.......
    Last edited by geir; 8th June 2015 at 12:33.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Internet broke down in my guesthouse yesterday, but not much happened. Got drunk with the locals as normal and finally had the chance to talk a bit of politics with them..............Most of them was actually supporting the army some months back, but now they had a change of heart....."nothing changes in Thailand" they said, "the army is as bad as Thaksin". So looks like the changes they were waiting for didn't happen. They said it didn't really matter who's in charge, same shit as always.
    Anyway, at least they're a happy bunch of people and no one seem to be really poor. Their laziness baffles me tho, why bother to cut the grass around their 2 mil Baht house when the daughter and boyfriend comes back from Sweden? Why bother to pick up all the plastic and polystyrene thrown around for the last decades. The flowers Joy planted last year is turned into jungle, and the house was not really clean inside......Good to stay in a guesthouse.

    Now it's Wednesday and the 2nd part of the trip almost fulfilled, we left Roi-et 6 in the morning and headed for Savannakhet Laos for my yearly visa. The drive was smooth and we arrived and parked at the border 09.30 in the morning....We then went through immigration, and I had to pay 1500 Baht for my Laos visa. Then we went direct to the Thai embassy and the whole thingie took me only 5 minutes. I gave them all the papers they asked for and 5000 Baht in visa fee. It was no questions of showing the required 400k Baht in the bank, and I was told to pick up my passport again tomorrow at 2pm. Easiest visa I've ever got.
    Now we're going to hit the town to see what it have to offer.......hopefully plenty of beer Lao and some leftover from the French cosine......

    More to follow.....
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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    You are right about many maintaining their properties and gardens, run right into the ground before they think about doing anything about it. Used to drive me mad!!!

    I don't see much laziness, most people are up at 4.30-5am onwards, so even if you get up at 8am, it's like lunchtime to them. Of course middle of the day heat with no air con means not much is going to get done unless it's necessary i.e. in the fields or doing building work

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    Internet broke down in my guesthouse yesterday, but not much happened. Got drunk with the locals as normal and finally had the chance to talk a bit of politics with them..............Most of them was actually supporting the army some months back, but now they had a change of heart....."nothing changes in Thailand" they said, "the army is as bad as Thaksin". So looks like the changes they were waiting for didn't happen. They said it didn't really matter who's in charge, same shit as always.
    Anyway, at least they're a happy bunch of people and no one seem to be really poor. Their laziness baffles me tho, why bother to cut the grass around their 2 mil Baht house when the daughter and boyfriend comes back from Sweden? Why bother to pick up all the plastic and polystyrene thrown around for the last decades. The flowers Joy planted last year is turned into jungle, and the house was not really clean inside......Good to stay in a guesthouse.

    .....
    Ao's whole family is impeccably clean

    But we have a similar issue with my sister
    She begs us to come to Boston and always wants us to stay there and I kind of need/want to so that a trip to Boston doesn't cost me 3kusd all in with hotels and such
    But her house is a pig sty
    This last time i flat out told her she needs to clean her house if she wants us to stay there
    We put the effort into flying there.....she needs to put in the effort for her house to be clean

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    We're just back at the hotel (400 Baht) in Savannakhet after a great dinner in a western restaurant.....It was a bit expensive, but I was told it was the only "farang" restaurant here.....local steaks for around 600 Baht.....was very tender and worth the money. Joy had some street noodles and it surprisingly costed more than in Thailand (maybe even she got "farang" price for once). The beer is as I remembered it from a few years back, by far the best in SEA.
    So we're ready for a nap now, and will hit the town later. (not much to see here in daytime, but hopefully it will be a bit more lively in the evening).
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    K2
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    We then went through immigration, and I had to pay 1500 Baht for my Laos visa.
    A bit ripped off there as should be USD 35 (1,180 Baht) for Noggies but its a common scam ... next time make sure take the $35 and save a few Baht.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...2014-Laos.html

    Good that overall it was a very easy experience for you.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2 View Post
    A bit ripped off there as should be USD 35 (1,180 Baht) for Noggies but its a common scam ... next time make sure take the $35 and save a few Baht.

    Laos Visa On Arrival Fees as at February 2014 - Laos Forum - TripAdvisor

    Good that overall it was a very easy experience for you.
    I don't mind paying a bit extra as long as it's fast and easy.....we took the local bus from the border, but will happily pay 500 Baht for a taxi next time instead. The bus arrived at time, but used way to long time at both of the immigration offices.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Just back from a small night out in Savannakhet......we finally found a small sort of center with bars and restaurants and had some great Thai/Lao food and big bottles of Beer Lao......Beer still cheap, but the food was more expensive than I'm used to in Ranong....also more expensive than Roi-et, but not that much differences.
    We entered a big nightclub that turned out to be one of the local Karaoke-brothels and bringing a girl wasn't the biggest hit 5555. Anyway, we had a nice walk about and realized at the end of the night Savannakhet was like any small non touristy Thai town with no taxis after 9pm......So we had a 2 km walk home to the hotel which was nice and refreshing after 15ish big Beer Lao at silly 40 Baht a bottle....
    The lack of police is amazing, no one is wearing helmets and the traffic is insane......it's not like anyone is stopping at a red light if the road is free.......A small reminder how it was in Thailand 15-20 years ago.........Otherwise food was great, beers fantastic and taxis crap 555
    More to come when I'm back in Thailand tomorrow.......(if the wifi is working at our resort)
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    PTG
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    What's the name of the Karaoke place for 'research' sake ?

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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    I didn't see a name but it's referred to as the nightclub in the center of Savannakhet.....Huge fancy building, just of the main road where most of the restaurants are (sorry for the bad description..)
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Now it's finally the last night in Roi-et and we're heading south tomorrow morning. The pick up of my visa was easy and the trip back to Roi-et was done in 3 hours......Had a few beers with the family the last few afternoons and are more than ready to get back home to Ranong.
    The funny thing is that Ranong is in general 20-30% cheaper than Issan when it comes to basic things like food on markets and in local restaurants. Quite surprised when I had to pay 160 Baht for a skinny Issan chicken in a very basic "som tam" restaurant.....other basic meals was most places 80-120 Baht which is way higher than in Ranong.....I just talked to Erik (Majortom) which have been on loads of road trips all over SEA, and he told me that probably only the far North (CM,CR)can match Ranong prices on local food. Anyway, except from the skinny chicken, the food have been really nice an I have no other complaints.
    We had some proper rain last night which was about time as the farmers was starting to worry..........
    Otherwise the trip have been as expected and pretty much confirm my views on Issan as a great place with great people that are worth visiting for a few days every 5 year or so 5555. It baffles me that foreigners are actually able to live her permanently without knocking their heads in the wall. Maybe I could live in one of the bigger cities that have some kind of expat community, but in the middle of nowhere villages is a big NO NO.
    The people are more polite than in the south tho, and it's no way they would try to sneak in front of you waiting to pay in a shop or 7/11. They're in general a happy bunch of people that can laugh endlessly over a fart or a kid falling down the steps.....Kids hitting and kicking street dogs is obviously also very funny which made me wonder if they thought it would be funny if a farang slapped a kid.

    On the way back south we will probably stop over for a night around Hua Hin or Cha-am, but I don't really fancy those places. Maybe better to just stop at some local little town somewhere else.....or maybe one of the deserted beaches further south (if we get out of Bangkok in time).
    I will finish off the trip report when I get back to Ranong and steady internet.
    Cheers
    Last edited by geir; 13th June 2015 at 16:23.
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    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    Now it's finally the last night in Roi-et and we're heading south tomorrow morning. The pick up of my visa was easy and the trip back to Roi-et was done in 3 hours......Had a few beers with the family the last few afternoons and are more than ready to get back home to Ranong.
    The funny thing is that Ranong is in general 20-30% cheaper than Issan when it comes to basic things like food on markets and in local restaurants. Quite surprised when I had to pay 160 Baht for a skinny Issan chicken in a very basic "som tam" restaurant.....other basic meals was most places 80-120 Baht which is way higher than in Ranong.....I just talked to Erik (Majortom) which have been on loads of road trips all over SEA, and he told me that probably only the far North (CM,CR)can match Ranong prices on local food. Anyway, except from the skinny chicken, the food have been really nice an I have no other complaints.
    We had some proper rain last night which was about time as the farmers was starting to worry..........
    Otherwise the trip have been as expected and pretty much confirm my views on Issan as a great place with great people that are worth visiting for a few days every 5 year or so 5555. It baffles me that foreigners are actually able to live her permanently without knocking their heads in the wall. Maybe I could live in one of the bigger cities that have some kind of expat community, but in the middle of nowhere villages is a big NO NO.
    The people are more polite than in the south tho, and it's no way they would try to sneak in front of you waiting to pay in a shop or 7/11. They're in general a happy bunch of people that can laugh endlessly over a fart or a kid falling down the steps.....Kids hitting and kicking street dogs is obviously also very funny which made me wonder if they thought it would be funny if a farang slapped a kid.

    On the way back south we will probably stop over for a night around Hua Hin or Cha-am, but I don't really fancy those places. Maybe better to just stop at some local little town somewhere else.....or maybe one of the deserted beaches further south (if we get out of Bangkok in time).
    I will finish off the trip report when I get back to Ranong and steady internet.
    Cheers
    TRy Baan Krut if you can locate it - halfway between BKK and phuket.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilbaz View Post
    TRy Baan Krut if you can locate it - halfway between BKK and phuket.
    Yeah, I know where it is. Depends on the traffic, but it may be a bit to far. Heard good things about the place :-)
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    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Great report Geir.

    Would've been great to see some pictures too.

    I especially liked this passage below....5555


    Quote Originally Posted by geir View Post
    The people are more polite than in the south tho, and it's no way they would try to sneak in front of you waiting to pay in a shop or 7/11. They're in general a happy bunch of people that can laugh endlessly over a fart or a kid falling down the steps.....Kids hitting and kicking street dogs is obviously also very funny which made me wonder if they thought it would be funny if a farang slapped a kid.
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