Thursday, September 4, 2008
Before I continue with a lowdown of Laos and Vientiane in particular, I want to answer the two questions I get asked most: how in the world did you decide to go on a RTW ('round-the-world) trip and how much does something like this cost? First of all, it's not as expensive as it appears. In total, a trip like this costs just over $8,000 for everything (visas, accommodation, spending money, food, souvenirs, transportation, etc.). This entails 4 ferries, 18 flights (only 15 of which I will actually go on... 2 were anulled because of the tumult in Phuket, and 1 ticket I purchased before changing my mind and flying somewhere else), and 115 total days of being away from Chicago. This comes out to roughly $75 per day for everything. In 115 days this includes 22 countries plus Macau (Macao) and Hong Kong. And, of course, some amazing sites: the DMZ on the South-North Korean border; the amazing temples of Angkor in Cambodia; the Trans-Siberian Railway; etc. I decided to do this because I've always wanted to visit many of these places that I haven't been to before, and after graduation I felt that now was the best time to do something like this. Once I would have a job related to my major, I would get two weeks off per year at most. So why not work the whole summer after graduation and then travel for a few months to discover and do something that has for the past few years been such a dream for me?
P.S. The picture above is taken at Pha That Luang, Vientiane's holiest temple. The weather was really nice, too. (September 2, 2008).