Vang Viang, Laos

Trip Start Dec 25, 2008
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Where I stayed
Villa Aekham

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Took  a mini-bus (van) from Luang Prabang to Vang Viang.  Although everyone says this bus trip has spectacular views (which it does) I don't think I would want to do it again.  Firstly it is very windy and can lend to motion sickness (which I felt for the first time ever) and secondly the drivers are crazy and do not seem to  comprehend the value of a human life!!! These mini-bus trips seem to have been created to correspond to the foreigners needs which is to travel in some sort of comfort!!! without having to share a seat with produce, livestock and 20 other people in a 10 seat bus!!!!! However, the driver's seem to think that speed is also part of the package!!!!  Arriving in Vang Viang it was time to  hire a tuktuk and find a room.  It is here that I decided that I am no longer happy with  the budget/backpacker accomodations.  What I saw at the budget level I felt was even overpriced. The rooms were dirty, the linen was not freshly laundered which seems to be quite normal in the budget and even in the mid-range accomodations in Asia.  (I am sure happy I brought a nice white cotton sleeping bag liner  and bug spray with me!! it saved me from many sleepless nights thinking of bed bugs . . . ) I finally found a nice, quiet and clean room at Villa Aekham and negotiated it down from 220,000 kip to 180,000 (without breakfast). (This was a double room and I am travelling solo right now). I did my usual walk around to get oriented and see what this place has to offer.  Again, I rented a bike and went out to the country side mainly to visit the Organic Mulberry Farm.  It is great what this farm is doing as well as giving back to the community by contributing to the education of Vang Viang people.  Of course I did not leave without trying the tasty Mulberry shake. I then biked to a cave but did not have any success in reaching it so I stopped for lunch at Maylyn Guest House and attempted to reach another cave. Again, I was not successful as, being a woman and travelling on my own, I kind of got spooked after walking in this dense forest with noone around and not being able to see exactly where the cave was.  I had visited quite a few caves in Vietnam so I was not as disappointed as I might have been. Like many, I feel that this town is mainly for a younger crowd who come here for tubing and partying. So, I did not linger too long here. After being reassured by another traveller that the route between Vang Vieng and Vientianne was much better than the one between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng, I booked a seat on another mini-bus.
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