On Sunday (5/27/12) I went on a visa run to Savannakhet, Laos to convert my visitor’s visa to a non-immigrant B visa, which will allow me to work legally in Thailand (hooray for not being deported!). The trip was short—just two nights—but it was SO COOL to experience another place in Southeast Asia!
Savannakhet is the second largest city in Laos, but you would never guess it. The city does not have big buildings or the typical city bustle; most notably, there is very little traffic, and the traffic that does exist ambles along at a relaxed pace. I was thankful for this, because after I applied for my visa conversion on Monday morning, I biked around the city to see some of the sights it had to offer, and not once did I feel like I was going to get run-over!
I began my bike ride with the intention of visiting a dinosaur museum—from what I understand, Savannakhet is the only place in Laos where dinosaur bones have been found. However, upon arriving at the museum, I decided to just keep on biking instead. The afternoon turned into a slow-paced, aimless wander around the city. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
|The [open-air!] Royal Thai Consulate. Thankfully, all went smoothly.|
|The mighty Mekong River, as seen from the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connecting Mukdahan, Thailand, to Savannakhet, Laos.|
|A market along the Mekong.|
|I huge tree on the banks of the Mekong. I'm still trying to figure out why people in Southeast Asia tie colorful scarves around really large trees.|
|A Catholic church--a rare sight in this part of the world. This is the first one I've seen.|
|Yet another temple, but this one's different--it's Chinese! Notice the difference in architecture, and of course, the dragons on top.|
|I don't think I'll ever get sick of looking at temples. They're SO beautiful!|
|Not totally sure if I should be taking pictures of legal documents, but check it out! My visa as a *non-immigrant* to The Kingdom of Thailand. 'Cause I live here. Booya.|
|There's the Friendship Bridge, looking westward from Laos towards Thailand. I headed back to Ubon on Tuesday afternoon, after picking up my passport and visa from the Thai consulate.|
|And to end the trip, a beautiful Thai sunset on the way back to Ubon Tuesday evening.|
And so went my visa run to Laos. I definitely plan to go back, especially because my student's aunt (who I borrowed the bike from) has promised to take me to a monkey forest if I do!