Swinging in Vangers

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Saturday, June 3, 2006

Things have come along way in Laos. Before, you either took a local bus or a ute, now they have VIP buses, so we decided to use this as they are only meant to take three hours.

Four and a half hours later, we arrived. The three of us grabbed a hotel and then went for lunch. Vang Vieng has grown up. There are now loads of guesthouses and restaurants. I think it is called progress !!! We had some and went for a walk. As it was quite hot, and I remembered from last time the fun I had in riding an innertube down the local river, I convinced the other two to do it. We also found Colin and George and they decided to come as well. We found a man, paid, and then we were off. The driver decided to be a shit and tried to kick us out early. I told him to fuck off and to take us to the proper place. And he then did !!! We jumped in, and as we went down the river, there were bars everywhere. Some had flying foxes, others had jumps or swings. As we had started pretty late, we decided to go straight through to the end. 1.5 hours later, we were back in Vangers. We had dinner, and after a while, Colin, George and Lucy left Welf and me as we gad another Beer Lao to finish. Then the heavens opened up, and it poured and poured. We sat there for a long time, before we were given an umbrella and kicked out for the night

Beer Lao's Drunk - 4
Beer Lao's Total - 23

We were meant to go trekking but it was still raining, so we hung around and did nothing, then I came up with a great idea, why don't we go tubing again. After lunch, the three of us went off. This time was different though, the water was higher and much faster. It didn't take us long before we reached the bar with the trapeze type swing. It seemed like t hat everyone was drinking Beer Lao, so I joined in. Welf decided that he didn't need Dutch courage, so he climbed 10 metres up to the platform, and off he went. He made it around halfway before he fell off. Whilst drinking, it was hilarious watching the people jump. About 50% made it to the end, and there were loads of face plants !!! Once my beer was finished, I climbed up with Welf. There was a girl in front of us, who grabbed the handle, let go, and went straight down onto her face. It was funny, but I didn't want to do that myself. Welf, went, and then face planted. I was worried. I grabbed on, and at the halfway point, I crashed out. Back onto the tube, we stopped at the next bar and had another Beer Lao. Once finished, we took off again. When I did this 6 years ago, I was told to stay left. I told the other two, and we did this. Another guy went right, and had no chance of getting off. We didn't see him again !!!

Practically all the restaurants play friends, 24 hours a day, so we found one that didn't. After dinner, we decided to watch a DVD, but this Canadian put on a gay type movie. We told him he was gay, and to move over. He did as he was told, so we bought him a beer. His name was Student, and he was a lumberjacker, which really did concern me, so I asked him he wore suspenders and a bra, and if he wished he was a girlie, just like his dear mama. But it went over his head. He seemed like a nice guy, so we drank the night away, and told him that as he was a Student, he needed lessons in life, and Welf and myself were the perfect teachers and that he would be coming kayaking with us tomorrow.

Beer Lao's Drunk - 8
Beer Lao's Total - 31

We had paid for a trip that would take us to two caves, and a day of kayaking and breakfast, but after a shit load of Beer Lao's the previous evening, I was quite not with it, so I ordered breakfast. Where we are staying, they do toasted ham, cheese, tomato baguettes. They are fucking awesome. So I had one. Down to the kayaking place, they gave me fried eggs with a baguette. After this little cure, I was ready to go. But we had one problem. Student had not shown up for his lesson, so I walked over to his hotel, knocked on the door, and there was no answer. So I gave a harder knock, and Student appeared. He was looking messy, and said he would come in 5. I told Welf, and after 5, Welf was ready to go himself and drag him down, then Student appeared. We loaded up the truck, and off we went. Student was looking very grey, he definitely needed lessons in life !!! Once at the water, Colin and George in one, Lucy and me in another, Student and Welf had single ones, and there were a group of other people as well. We went through some rapids and it was all good. Then we were pulling over at our cave stop. The first cave was a water cave, and there is a rope to pull you through on a tube. The water was brass monkey material, but we managed. There were a few stalactites hanging down, and after half an hour, we re-appeared. The second cave was a big let down. There was meant to be a stalagmite that resembled an elephant. Personally, I think the guy who found it had smoked a little to much opium !!! We did lunch, and then back into the kayak for a 15 K paddle. All was going well. The surrounding mountains were beautiful and it was so quite as there was no motor traffic. We had gone through quite a few rapids, and then during one set, our kayak wouldn't go right, and we went over. Luckily, we were wearing helmets and life jackets as we were taken by the river. Lucy was dragged in by the guides, whilst I went on a river run. As it got lower, I tried standing up, but it didn't work, so I let the river take me before a guide caught me and dragged me into the boat. Once in, we were practically at the trapeze swing, so we pulled over, and grabbed a beer. Student had been having a good day and decided that it was now time to be the master as he had done the swing loads of times. Up he went, back and forth, even putting his legs over the handle. I went up with him, he gave me the tip, and I was flying. And then I was at the end. How did I know, well, all of a sudden, it goes up again, and I thought to myself, this would be a good time to let go, so I did, but my body was not straight and I realised this, and hit the water hard on my side and went down and down. Ii started to swim up, and for what seemed like an eternity, I made it up and out of the water. My side was killing me, but at least I did it. Colin made it, and George had a go. The first one she did quite well, but the second time, she face planted. She was in quite a bit of pain. Understandably !!! We sat around watching loads of people dropping from the top, including one, who wore her life jacket and once she hit the water, came up with it over her head. Then it was time to move on. And not long after, the kayaking day was over. Student was thankful he had been woken up as he had a great day.

After showering, we met up for dinner. I was fucked. This would be the last evening together as George and Colin were going to Luang Prabang, whilst Lucy, Welf and me were going to Phonsovan. Student came along, and Welf and me were trying to convince him that he needed more lessons in life and that he should come. After dinner, a very stoned Derrin and Edele walked into where we were. They explained that they had been watching friends for 4.5 hours !!! They sat and had beers with us, and Student's allegiance started to sway towards the young Irish couple as they had never been tubing before, and he thought he would be able to get rid of his nickname. Unlikely when your name is Grant !!! We said our goodbyes to Colin and George, and the final Vangers evening was now over

Beer Lao's Drunk - 5
Beer Lao's Total - 36

In the morning, Student did not show up for his lessons. It was a little disappointing, but such is life.

It had been great to go back to Vang Vieng. Even though there had been a guesthouse/restaurant explosion, just like Don Det, but unlike Don Det, this place can handle it. The tubing was awesome, and if I ever do come back to Laos, I would definitely return here.
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