Saturday, 10 September 2011

Vang Vieng

Having traveled across Northern Laos for the past week...I have finally reached Vang Vieng. Now, it is slightly difficult how to describe this place, it is most definitely for 'backpackers' in terms of the party lifestyle and the evidently famous 'Tubing'. Let me enlighten you to as my journey began to here, I have been traveling with the Stray Asia bus (hop on hop off bus!) been great meeting people and have some great laughs along the way on the roads (or rather stone tracks). We travelled North up towards the Thailand border then moved north east, visiting Luang Namtha and Nong Kiew, then traveled one day on boat to Luang Prabang again then headed south to Vang Vieng. The journey to Vang Vieng is around six hours, however, our journey was more around the fourteen hour mark, this was due to the common occurrence in Laos life of a landslide. The landslide was huge, ripped through half the mountain, taking away the whole round,  four village houses and unfortunately three lives. It is a slow process and the waiting around makes you more inclined to explore, meet locals and engage in conversations, even though it was such a long day, the day actually felt as though it passed by quickly.

Well...first day in Vang Vieng was spent Tubing. Tubing is basically something that backpackers do to have fun and all I can say is, it's a whole lot of fun! We all met up in the morning, dressed in the minimum, bare feet and picked up our huge tractor rubber rings. From here, the tuk-tuk takes you out of town to the drop off point, here you float across the river to Bar 1...everyone starts with shots of Lao whiskey and a sandcastle bucket each to start of your day. After here, we hopped on the rubber ring and paddled like crazy across the river to Bar 2...this was the best bar, as I loved the swing. This is a swing, sort of like a trapeze style one where you swing out of the bar into the river. As the dance music rages through the air, the is a travel community all dressed up in bright colours, soaking wet, drinking from buckets with huge rubber rings...I shall never forget the sight, such a funny one! Our last bar of the day was the famous Bar 4 with the gigantic slide overshadowing the whole wooden shack bar itself. After another bucket sunken, I whizzed off the slide (this slide is also known as the slide of death!) into the river. As dusk began to crawl into sky, we opted to float on our rubber rings back down the river into town. It was amazing just floating and taking in the aesthetic beauty of Vang Vieng and so surreal that you are in fact on a rubber ring whilst doing it. we got into town, the sky was in total darkness and the wet feeling overwhelmed, we quickly went and changed and partied the night away. That whole day was such a crazy day...filled with buckets, laughter and trapeze tricks on the swing I loved! Most of my other days, I have chilled and rested, even enjoying a 'Tradiitonal Lao''s a hard life carry my heavy backpack! Heading to the capital tomorrow and then moving south again, so who knows what Laos will have in store for me. 

Enjoying my food and drink at the night market

Traveling through Laos

Feeling like death...throwing up 3 times due to travel sickness then 14hour delay on landslide

Nice afternoon walk in Luang Namtha

Slow boat journey down South

Way up above and in the clouds, highest point in Laos

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