Grab your coat, we're going swimming

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, June 27, 2010

Last nights Lao Beer keg fest had taken its toll and we both woke up at 8am with hangovers (Andrew edit well that is an average I was up at 7am and Erica was up at 11am).  Needless to say my proposal of watching the monks almsgiving at 5am had gone out of the window, maybe tomorrow.  So, after a lie in, me sleeping and Andrew catching up on the Glastonbury news we caved in to the lure of the Joma cafe (the close proximity to our guesthouse is not condusive to weight loss) and got a breakfast burritto and chilli soup, not as good as the pizza the day before but still one hell of a hangover cure.

After a short stroll in to town to weigh up the options about how we were going to get to Vang Vieng, which unfortunately seemed to end at one conclusion: a 7 hour bus journey, we were propositioned by one of the many Jumbo drivers (another take on a jeepney only smaller) who was trying to sell us a trip to the nearby waterfalls.  Negotiations started at 60,000 Kip each, which we thought a bit steep however after roping in a couple of Spanish girls we were much happier with the 30,000 Kip final price so hot footed it back to the guesthouse to get in to our leotards and grab a towel.

Forty minutes and 30 odd kilometers later and we were at Kuang Si Falls.  It was a short trek (yes this word has recently been introduced in to my vocabulary), up a bit of a road to the main waterfall which was gorgeous but you couldnt swim under it, although some crazy Israelis were flouting the rules and jumped straight in.  We found a smaller pool further down the hill and Andrew dived straight in and totally took his breath away, the water was so cold but lovely and refreshing. 

I, on the other hand was a little more creative getting water bourne, OK I was scared of jumping in, so after wading through a swampy pond where I was ankle deep in mud (god knows what was in there) I found my way in to the beautiful blue lagoon with a huge sigh of relief.  There were tiny fish in the pool that would nibble at your skin at every opportunity, Andrew nearly flipped out at one point convinced that it was a leech attatching itself to his stomach, but alas it was only a fish, no need for the lighter just yet (Andrew edit - If you get a leech you have to either burn it with a ligther or spray it with deet or esle its teeth stay in causing nice infection).

We stayed at the waterfalls for a couple of hours and watched some of the crazy kids jump off the rope swing, as team dare devil I managed to avoid it much to my own amazement.  There were lots of Laos families there, swimming fully clothed and all enjoying picnics on the edge of the lagoons. When I say fully clothed I mean totally dressed in jeans, shirts and even jackets and coats, all very strange, but as Andrew says "all very interesting".  Again, strangely incorporated in to the falls area was a bear sanctuary (thankfully enclosed behind electric fences) so we watched them playing for a while and then went to find our jumbo driver and have a beer. 

Back at the guesthouse we showered and then went for a walk to get some food as we had worked up an appetite.  I decided to just have a fresh fruit smoothie as I was craving fruit for some reason, whilst Andrew got a sausage from the market and a chicken salad baguette with lots of chilli sauce.  We got a couple of cheap beers from the shop at the top of the road from the guesthouse and settled down in the comfy chairs chatting with the other residents before the football.  Again, we have a group of French doctors staying in our guesthouse from Paris (is that what all French people study?) so we laughed as Pete the Aussie got a check up mid beer.

We had heard that they were showing the football at 'Hive Bar' in the town so at 8.30pm we headed over there and found a table in the garden in front of the big screen.  The place was quite packed already with a mix of English and German supporters.  When a group of Northern Irish lads came and sat next to us, why is it always the Irish, we started chatting and the kegging began in earnest which distracted us from the game and the misery.  So despite my patriotism to the tune of "We were robbed!" and "Come on England get in the hole" we had to slope off home at about 2.30am but between us and the Irish we had seen off all the German beer monsters so surely that counts for something, doesn't it?

Andrew edit - Strict licensing laws state that bars must stop serving at 10:30pm however we got a lock in until 2:30am before drunkenly walking back home with a quick sick mid way. Also of note Erica "I completely understand why people get into football hooliganism" Heywood wanted to start a fight with the Germans. Well we are living up to a stereotype I suppose.
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Gregg on

Hey you two......hope you are dirty toad!!! How did you know I was stalking you, papping me at your guesthouse?!?!?!?!?!?

Stevie Q on

Sorry, I read beer sanctuary until I saw the photos

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