Stay Another Day In Laos...
Trip Start Nov 05, 2008
27Trip End Jun 23, 2009
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Where I stayed
My first day there, a whole group of us went on a kayaking, caving, trekking adventure near the town. We hiked through a small village to get to some spectacular caves that go very deep, some too deep and steep
After exploring the caves, we walked for a couple hours with our hilarious tour guide (He told us his name was Porn, "like porn star, easy to remember") and listened to him telling stories about growing up in a small village in Laos. One of my favorite stories was how he used to take his red shirts and dress up one of the cows his family owned, then make the cow run towards the other cows to scare them away, just for fun. His English was not great, so it made the story so much more entertaining. After a delicious picnic lunch with BBQ chicken skewers, corn, sticky rice, and bananas, we embarked on the kayaking part of the trip
The whole tour group, including Porn, went out to dinner that night which was fun because of the interesting mix of nationalities. The food in VV was decent, with a wide range of "Western" restaurants with Lao food mixed in, but my favorite was the sandwich stands that made me tuna melts with REAL cheese! I went to the same sandwich lady everyday so after the 3rd day, she would see me approaching and would start making the sandwich before I could ask. VV is also notorious for the restaurants showing reruns of the shows "Friends" and "Family Guy." I didn't think I would be watching TV on my trip, but ended up spending some quality down time watching "Family Guy" after a full day of activities.
The rock climbing in VV was quite challenging, especially because I haven't done it in years. We learned how to belay each other and took turns going up 3 different routes of varying difficulty. For the climbers out there, the hardest climb we did was a 6B and only 1 person made it to the top. There were some tight squeezes and some almost impossible sections, where you really had to be confident and trust the ability of the climbing shoes to support your weight. On my first climb, I slipped off the wall, but got right back on and made it to the top. You have to be pretty creative in some spots. I still don't know how I made it past one very difficult spot on the 2nd wall. I did the last climb of the day when the sun had already set and I couldn't see anything on the wall, so I had to feel around for hand holds and pray I was going the right way
Not too many backpackers can say that after leaving Vang Viang, especially the ones that go off the rope swings and zip lines into the river. This was the most popular activity in the town, as the town is custom made for backpackers to go floating down the river and get roped into bars where they have giant slides, high zip lines and rope swings and volleyball nets. So people forget about the tubing all together and just swim to the bars and hang out for a while. The bars turn into dance parties around noon and continue throughout the day and into the night.
While this is fun, it gets old after awhile and feels too much like a Spring Break atmosphere.
My last day there, a group of us rented mountain bikes in search of the so called "Blue Lagoon" which we heard was amazing and a must see. We searched around for most of the day and found A blue lagoon, but there were no clear signs or a decent map to help us find the real one. However, we did find another cave and at the entrance there were 4 locals kids averaging about 8 years old who led us through the cave. We were a little unsure about 8 year old tour guides for some strange reason, but they seemed to know where to go and had flashlights
Next Stop: World Heritage Site - Luang Prabang