Caving in Vang Vieng

Trip Start Nov 29, 2008
Trip End Jan 18, 2009

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, January 10, 2009

As in Vientiane, we only had half a day to explore Vang Vieng. I wasn't as in need of extra time here as I was in Vientiane, but it still might have been nice. All I had time for was exploring one cave, the Tam Phu Khan cave containing a reclining Buddha statue. But it was an experience! A good half hour by tuk-tuk ride on a very bumpy road, after getting there you still have to climb a fair distance to get to the entrance. Once in the cave, you can just go in a few dozen meters and admire the reclining Buddha statue, or follow the painted on "Cave -->" sign on one of the rocks leading into the blackness. Of course, I chose the latter.

I had my trusty flashlight (but no guide) with me as I negotiated the rocks. No handrails, no steps, no markers of any kind--this was an authentic experience, and the type that would never exist in the U.S. due to lawyers. At one point, I foolishly put my right foot down on what I thought was a rock, only to discover it was a shadow. I slipped all the way up to my knee, which fortunately got no more than a nasty scrape. After a half hour, the cave wrapped around in a circle back to the opening, a discovery which made me quite happy as I was not looking forward to backtracking over the same terrain for another half hour.

The next morning began our long bus trip to Luang Prabang, where we would finally be staying more than one night!
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