Living it up in Vang Vieng...yes we made it!
After surviving 'route 13' with our machine gun armed guard....not kidding....we arrived safe and sound only an hour late....which is great for Laos!
We found a cute $4 riverside bungalow that was to be our home for the next 5 days. However after a night of little visitors in the shape of cockroaches we decided to upgrade.....and quickly! $10/night saw us residing in relative luxury with panoramic views of the Karst Mountains and a daily view of the bats exiting their caves in the thousands at exactly 5.40pm every day.....quite amazing to view.
Most activities around these parts revolve around water sports, caves and drinking. We decided to combine two of them and go tubing. The process is simple, grab a tube and a tuk tuk ride upstream. From there you just hop on and stop whenever required at one of many bars along the way. Most bars had a gimmick of some kind to attract you to their bar.....usually a high platform to jump/dive from, rope swing or flying fox. Just the kind of fun things that you shouldn't attempt drunk....but you do anyway. Was a huge amount of fun!
The next day we decided to take a 'tractor' style tuk tuk out to what is known as the 'Blue Lagoon'....basically a really nice blue swimming hole with swing ropes, jumping platforms and a cave (Tham Phu Kham) up a steep climb with a reclining Buddah deep within. Another day spent in the sun and water, with a short but strenuous climb to take away the guilt of yet another day doing bugger all.
We had a night of relative excitement when a rather large fire broke out at a kayaking/rafting company just down the road from us. Pretty scary thing to have happen as its stinking hot, dry as a nuns nasty and everything is made of wood. There is no fire brigade...at all. very lucky that the fire...large as it was...didin't spread any further. In true Lao style, the workers were going into the building at the height of the fire to retrieve everything that they could...with no insurance in these parts everything saved is a big bonus I guess. The most amazing part was that they were back in business the next day.....almost as if the biggest disaster that they had faced had never happened...truly remarkable!
From here it is two days kayaking down to the capital of Vientiane.
Until next time....