Vang Vieng

Trip Start Jan 04, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, March 6, 2005

We had to catch a bus to Vang Vieng at 9:00 so Mary suggested the Cafe Pretensa across the street, advertising the best breakfast in Luang Prabang. They managed to get my order wrong and took ages about delivering it, so I had no breakfast before my long bus ride, not a happy bunny. As usual, the 4/5 hour bus ride took about 6 hours, but when we arrived we checked into the nearest place which happened to be nice and cheap too. As soon as we arrived a trio of Israelis introduced themselves and offered cups of sugar as they were our neighbours.

During the first evening we explored the town and a small island which seems to be where they herd all the Farang when the Lao townfolk want to sleep. After 11 everywhere shuts and we all head over a rickety bridge to the island bars as there was a nice friendly atmosphere and good music.

After a nice first night we went innertubing on our first full day, you pay about 3 dollars and they stick you in a large innertube and push you down the river. As you float down you pass little riverside shacks which serve you beer and food, and some of them have jumps to try out. As it was dry season the river was flowing very slowly, so it was relaxing but after 4 hours we were ready to get out. Later we met up with 3 Norwegians we met on the bus to Vang Vieng, and went out for a meal and some drinks with them. After giving myself a dose of food poisoning from a dodgy steak sandwich I went home and stayed there. We had also arranged to go on a cycle trip with them the next day to visit a couple of caves and a lagoon.

We got our bikes and set off towards the lagoon, without much of an agenda in mind. We stopped off at the first set of caves we found, and wished we hadn't, one should really have been described as a 'nook' rather than a cave, and the other was about the size of a small room, and covered in graffiti. Disheartened we carried on towards the lagoon, along the way we had to pay for 2 toll bridges, and to get into each cave and the lagoon. The day ended up being quite expensive, so after seeing the lagoon and staying for a drink we cut our losses and set off home. My 'Norrises'* were still not feeling too good so I had another early night, and caught up on all the gossip about 'how great everything was' from Mary when she got home about sunrise.

We managed a day of relaxing and recouperation, until the evening, following our hectic bike ride. Finally feeling better, I managed to make it out to the bonfire and had a good time, although didn't quite make it out until sunrise. Met some very interesting people and generally had good fun. We planned to go Kayaking the next day, but sensibly made it from 1-5pm, so we didn't have to be up too early. Surprisingly we managed to do the Kayaking, although the weather was a bit cloudy and cold, so it wasn't great. We did stop off to watch some people rock climbing, which I have decided looks fun, but I'm not really built for it at the moment, even after my food poisoning.

We intended to have one final night out, but after only about 3 hours sleep the night before it was too much for me, so I went to bed about midnight. I heard in the morning that the Norwegian girls had rolled home about 7, up at 8, and on the bus at 9. Our bus was at 10, and we headed off to Vientiane, the capital. We only stayed for a few hours though as we had anoher bus booked for Bangkok on the same day. The intention is to get back down to my favourite island (Koh Phangan) for my birthday on the 9th March, so check again after that to see if I made it.

Not many photos with this entry, partly because the weather was abit cloudy, and partly because I was ill for a while.

*Norrises - Norris McWhirters, Squirters.
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