Visa-Run to the Kingdom of Million Elephants

“You should experience being foreign at least once…”


I’ve never really written about my life as an expat, like how I adjusted to the language I couldn’t understand, the food with strange smells, the pollution (lol), and many others. But being a foreigner, among many other things, one thing you should always be concerned about is your documents.

I was lucky to get employed right away when I arrived so I never had a problem but changing employers means going back to zero. Now, I need to count from 1.

Laos is the only landlocked nation in Southeast Asia, occupying the northwest portion of the Indochinese peninsula. This country is surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar.

Laos’ history and culture can be traced back to the Kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Kao (Kingdom of a Million Elephants Under the White Parasol) which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. And it happens that Laos is the nearest country to exit for visa-run. So here I am, back to the same place after 2 years.

What to do for a visa run in Vientiane, Laos?

  1. Book an Appointment. Always remember that policies change from time to time. Thai Immigration in Vientiane no longer entertain walk-in applicants, so you should book an appointment before going. You can register at and get a queue number. You will get your passport back with the same queue number on the next day.
  2. Double-check your papers. Always, always, bring your original copy. You need to have your complete documents from your school/employer if you’re going for Non-B visa, photocopy them, and always keep the original copies with you. There was a girl who cried in the agency as she couldn’t go just because she didn’t have the original copy and it was sad to leave her behind.
  3. Book for a seat in an agency or better yet go on your own. I happen to meet someone in the hotel who didn’t book in an agency but traveled solo. And I guarantee you, it will be one of the most adventurous and liberating things you’ll do for yourself.
  4. Have Fun. Just because you’re abroad for the legalisation of your stay doesn’t mean you can’t have a tour around the city. Talk to the locals, and haggle for the fare. đŸ™‚

There are beautiful temples around the city of Vientiane. But since I’ve been here before, my photos were focused more on their interior and exterior designs.

Loving the ceiling details of Pha That Luang… (c) @shieellaa
The contrast… (c) @shieellaa
While she sleeps… (c) @shieellaa
Made of porcelain plates, or was it ceramic?


Being a foreigner could be too much at times, but I live with no regrets. Someone once said, “You should experience being foreign at least once…” – the same saying I have had hold-on to before I left my country.

Now, I encourage you to do the same…


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