Thai/Laos trip 2013: Vang Vieng

On our third day in Laos, my posse and I left early for Vang Vieng. We stayed at the Cliff View Bungalows cause we wanted to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the town (Vang Vieng is known as the Ibiza of Laos: the nightlife offers drinking and lots of it).

This place was just a short walk over the free bamboo bridge. The bungalow was clean, had A/C, an awesome deck and the owner/manager was really nice. For $10 a night, you really can’t beat it.

I planned to go to Tam Pu Kam/Blue Lagoon but because it was raining, the lagoon might not be blue and so we went to some cave our driver suggested us. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the cave’s name. Having paid only €1 each, I wasn’t expecting to be climbing and crawling for a whole hour trough an enormous cave and jungle.

Our guide was a tiny woman who took her baby and her toddler with her. That 3-year old sure knew how to make us blush cause we were huffing and puffing our way through that cave. Overall, that tour should’ve at least been worth €2.

To continue our pig out diet, our driver took us to some market to have our umpteenth meal of the day. We’ve seen things like owls and rats and some scorpion booze but we opted for the typical Lao spicy papaya salad and pepsi to be safe knowing we’d have a whole day of kayaking the next day.

We also hit the nightlife in the eve where travellers stare at TVs, eat cheap Western food and slurp Beerlao. Those bars offer the usual extras such as darts and pools and music is well covered from typical young western tunes to chill-out music.

The very next day, we opted for a cave tubing and a kayaking tour. There’s no need to book anything in advance cause there are plenty of tour operators going against each other for all the different tours. We paid €10/person for a private tour including transportation, lunch and tubing and kayaking rentals.

We first stopped by Tham Xang (Elephant cave) with its unusual shaped stones and many different sized Buddha statues that date back many centuries. We then went onto a small hike until we reached our first adventure of the day: the Limestone caves.

You can swim in the refreshingly cool and clear waters before exploring the cave on tubes with a torch. I need to point out you’ll definitely get wet but the good thing about Laos is that it’s so hot, your clothes will dry in a heartbeat.

After all of this, a barbecue lunch and fresh fruits were served on the banks of the river with a majestic mountain backdrop and tropical forests.

Our next stop: exploring the Nam Song river by kayak. It’s a great way to see the local countryside. The guides will give you some basic paddle instructions before you start on this 3 hour kayaking trip. They then kitted us with life jackets, drinking water and a waterproof bag before we set off kayaking down the river through the winding rapids.

We also attempted to play footvolley with some other tourists and locals who were supposed to be working. There were also basket hoops, a pétanque court, and plenty of places for some naptime before we continued on down the river until we reached our home in town.

We had so much fun and we could’ve done more but the next destination was waiting for us and so we had to say our goodbyes to Vang Vieng and you can read about our next adventure in the next post for Luang Prabang.

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