After Luang Prabang we travelled by Mini Bus to Vang Vieng, we didn't arrive there until about 9pm, we found a pretty good hostel and got some dinner then went to bed knackered from all the travelling.
Next day we were up early and got breakfast as we had decided to go Tubing (just to explain Tubing is were you go down to the river in Vang Vieng armed with a waterproof pouch for your money and the inner tubing out of a tractor wheel. You then jump inside the tube and let the river take you) We got in a Tuk Tuk and had to wait for a few more people, luckily we got a great group of people, 2 couples Josh + Sarah and Ben + Jenny and an absolutely hilarious Irish guy called Shamus. Upon finally getting to the starting point we noticed that there was literally bars running down both sides of the river, 1 bar every 20 or so metres. Every one of these bars gives you a free shot and a free banana (not sure why a banana) we spent the first hour and a half drinking and chatting to our new found friends at the first bar!! we eventually decided to start our journey down river but were stopped after 15 metres by the second bar throwing in bottles on a piece of string and pulling us in and giving us our free whisky shots. this was a trend that continued the whole way down river, by the 3rd bar Shamus was slightly drunk and had lost his hat and sunglasses to the river and by the 4th both Ben and Jenny had lost/forgotten their flip flops. We eventually got to the last bar 5 hours after we had started, which by this point we had been down slides, on rope swings, played mud volleyball, had different patterns and shapes body painted onto us and drank (responsibly!) the free shots and the occasional beer. we had 1 hour to get the Tubes back or else lose the deposit only to find out that we had only managed 1km of the 3km river! it would take us 2 hours to float down stream (1hour if we paddled) so we decided on getting a Tuk Tuk back. The only drama that day was once we got back to our room somebody had managed to lock the keys to our suitcase locks into the locked suitcase, luckily Dani drunkenly dissapeared and came back with an english guy with bolt cutters which was handy in the middle of Laos and saved the day! That evening we had agreed to meet the other 2 couples for dinner, we did invite Shamus however i think due to the amount of alcohol consumed during the day he may have had an early night! We had dinner and Ben and Jenny went back to their hostel, Me, Dani, Josh and Sarah went off to another Bar where me and Josh had a game of Beer Pong which we managed to spill more Beer than we managed to drink. All in all a great day and night and probably the best we'd had so far.
We had agreed to meet Josh and Sarah the next day to go and look at some of the caves nearby. We rented push bikes and set off to the first cave according to maps is 1km but is actually more like 5km! in about 30 degrees. We got to the first cave and were giving our guide a 10yr old boy called 'Mickey' who definately wasn't to happy about spending his sunday showing us round the caves. The cave was quite good and we got to jump in another Tube in a Lagoon inside one of the caves which was a bit wierd in the dark! We biked back and went on the search for another cave across the river this one had 4 big caves close together. We got there and were met by another guide this one also about 10 and named 'Alan'. This Cave was a lot different, there are no health and safety laws there it was literally climbing over rocks and through small Tunnels. The cave was quite good inside but was very hardwork so once out we decided not to do the other 3 and jumped on our bikes back to town absolutely shattered.
We planned to catch the bus the next day to Vientiane the next morning at 7am so we will cover all that in our next blog otherwise you may drift off to sleep reading this but Vang Vieng definately gets 2 thumbs up from us and was great fun!