Tubes, Kayaks, Beer, and Opium

Trip Start Dec 03, 2005
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stayed 5 nights in this place, really the 1st day consisted of exploring the town and its activities. Booked to go venturing the next day into a couple of caves, then kayak down the river for sunset. Turned into a lovely trip, with really up-for-a-laugh great tour guides to be with. First the tubing. We were exploring a cave with underwater stream that went for 3 or so kilometres; the guides only took us the 1st Km or so, but entertained us all with opera singing whilst we fumbled our way in the dark. (The tube is nothing more than a tractor or large vehicle's inner tube which you sit inside and paddle your way along if there is not a fast river current). - the technique for getting anywhere fast for any of you wannabe tubers is to remove your flip flops and there you have the perfect ready made paddles! After lunch, coming down by kayak was real fun, with many rapids to negotiate - not torrential but exciting to a relative novice kayaker, and of course passing all the tubers where they seemed to be travelling at a standstill (actually without much recent rainfall, the water was low and a lot slower than is preferred). Stopped for a couple of hours at a bamboo constructed area offering beers, food, bamboo platforms on the hill edge to watch the passing tubers, and two rope swings. These actually were quite skillfully engineered very high trapezes and aerial runways, from which you swung out and dropped from great height into the deep part of the river. Yeah, a beautiful day, especially as the scenery got more beautiful as sunset neared when we hit the town, soaked through from our paddle splashing wars with fellow kayakers.
FOOD - depending on the restaurant, you can have the usual fayre for Lao, some special dishes, using unusual vegetables, but if you like you may stick with Pizza. All the usual flavours, but depending on the restaurant, you may have "happy pizza", or "space pizza" along with "happy" tea/space tea, or more blatantly "weed" tea - "happy" however could involve either the aforementioned weed, or opium, or mushrooms in many cases.
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