Friday 1st April
We are heading to Vang Vieng today.We have booked the VIP bus and it will take 3hours.It cost us 50,000 kip each.We are going to stay at Bee Bee's guest house as it was recommended to us.We manage to get a room for 65,000 kip a night.It is around a 10-15 minute walk into the main area.We head down to the Riverview restaurant.It has lovely little open huts situated right on the river bank.You will see in our photos that everywhere we have been to has these little huts, you take off your shoes and get comfy.There are always lots of large pillows around and you can go for a nap if you want! We order a red Thai curry and a chicken Thai curry they are only 20,000 kip each with rice and it tastes fantastic.We chill there for a few hours and meet a Scottish lady called Kim sitting in the next hut.She has come up from Vientiane as well.
Saturday 2nd April
We have booked a tour through Wonderful Tours.It is a one day caving, tubing, and kayaking.We leave around 9.00 am and travel by tuk tuk 15km north of Vang Vieng and walk to ThamNam (water cave) where we all get on tubes and go inside the cave in the pitch dark.You the only light you have is a head torch that they provide.You drag yourself along this rope and follow everyone on the tour.I can't believe I am in a pitch dark cave in a tube in water!Kim who we met yesterday has joined us on the tour.We also meet a New Zealand guy called Si.Half way through the cave it gets really shallow and you have you get off your tube and walk in the water to the next part.It is still very dark but it is really cool.The water is freezing! We then all get lunch.It is delicious, we get bbq fruit, veg and meat kebabs with fried rice all served on a banana leaf and a baguette, very yummy! We then go to visit the elephant cave at BanThamXang.There is an elephant carved out of the elephant limestone.We then head back to the river to Kayak on the Nam Song river back to Vang Vieng.We go through the tubing section of the river and there are bars everywhere.It looks really cool.We stop off at one of the bars and have a few drinks, then back on the kayak and back to Vang Vieng centre.We get back around 4pm.It has been a great day and have met lots of great people.We are going to meet Kim and Si for dinner at Nazim's Indian.
Sunday 3rd April
Kim, Si, Henry and I decide to hire some bikes and cycle to the Blue Lagoon and cave.It is about 7km cycle.It is 38 degrees today.Kim and I struggle to cycle in the heat and have to stop lots on the way for shade and water stops lol.The boys however are off in front.We eventually arrive at the Blue Lagoon, I would suggest getting a PROPER map or you will end up at the wrong blue lagoon, you will see signs all the way to the lagoon saying to go there, do not go or you will end up paying money and not seeing the real blue lagoon or Tham Phu Kam cave.It costs us around 10,000kip each for entry.You can see why it is called the 'Blue Lagoon' it is a gorgeous bright blue colour.The water looks amazing.We are all so hot after our cycle so quickly change and jump in to the lagoon for a very refreshing swim.There is something for all ages here, there are ropes swings, swings in the water and areas for a chilled out swim.There is also a nice grassy area where there are mats laid out so there are people sunbathing, reading and generally taking time out.There are also a few shaded hut areas.We get dressed and decide to do the climb up to the cave.As we start the climb we realise how steep and far up it is, but I want to get to the top! We reach the top after what seemed an endless walk up the steep Cliffside and it is so nice.The cave entrance is huge and we all go in to explore.As we get further into the cave we realise how dark it is and that we are the only people in here.It is so quiet and eerie.Cave men Henry and Si venture further in and I follow reluctantly.The only light we have at all is the small head torch Henry brought.We hear bats squeaking but we can't see them.I hate to think what else is in here, it is really creepy but also very cool.It is massive.It takes around 40 minutes to venture all the way in and back again.There is a gold Buddha lying on it's side inside the cave.We then head back down the steep steps and go back into the lagoon for a last swim.Henry and Si are like wee kids jumping off the rope swings, I've not seen them this happy! Lol.We head back to the centre.It does not feel so hard on the way home as it is a lot cooler.We go for dinner to a hotel on the waterfront called Inthira, it is a bit pricey compared to the other restaurants but Hen and I have spied a Pad Thai on the menu for 25,000.We all get the Pad Thai.It is very tasty.
Monday 4th April
The TUBING day has arrived.We have all been preparing ourselves for today lol.Si and Kim are coming tubing with us too.It will be good fun.We meet around 12 noon and get lunch before our drinking begins. We go and hire our tubes.It costs 55,000 plus 60,000 deposit.You get the 60,000 kip deposit back if you return the tube before 6pm.(We later discover that not many people make it back by 6pm or return their tubes so they make a lot of money from this).We travel by tuk tuk with the tubes tied to the roof and are dropped off on the riverbank. We cross a rickety wooden bridge to the first bar, Q Bar.Straight away you are offered free shots and a blue bracelet (this is for free shots in their bar in the centre.It is so you go to Q Bar later after your tubing).The shots are Lao whisky and Lao red bull.This bar is full of young people getting extremely drunk and jumping of very high rope swings into the shallow river.There is 1 person a year killed here and many people injured badly.After one drink we get in our tubes and float down the very slow moving river to the next bar.Again as soon as you get out your tube they offer you free shots.Most bars just leave bottles of Lao whisky out on the table for you to help yourself.Another shot, god I am going to be steaming at this rate.We stay here for a drink then walk to the next bar as it is only a few hundreds meters and don't want to get back in the tube.This bar is pretty cool.There is an old lady serving us our drinks and she is drinking whisky buckets and dancing around.She is nuts but very nice.We all decide to start drinking the buckets as it's cheaper.Kim and I get a vodka bucket and the boys gets a whisky bucket.We meet lots of nice people at this bar some Scottish, Irish and English.The attraction at this bar seems to be the very high flying fox swing.We watch a few people doing it before Henry decides he wants a shot.It is very high! At least the river here seems a lot deeper than the first 2 bars.Kim has a shot as well, she must be mad! We end up staying her for a few hours and then decide we better go and get some food.There is a British Fish and Chip place at the next stop.We all get on our tubes and head there for food.No fish - we are gutted so end up getting chicken and chips, tastes very good but we have had a lot too drink.Kim has decided to keep going down the river as she wants to finish it.After food I eventually manage to get Si and Henry back on the tubes to the next bar to get off and get a tuk tuk back to the centre so we can get our deposit back.We get back to the tubing office at 5.45pm! Just made it.We later learned that if you are just going to meet people and have a good time NOT to get the tubes as they are a waste of time.Most people go to the first 4 bars only and just swim between them and then all get a tuk tuk back into town around 8pm. You will normally see all the filled tuk tuks coming back into town around 8pm with lots of extremely drunk people.It is not a good sight.I do not know how the locals put up with this.Some people come here for a week or two and go tubing everyday.So you can imagine the kind of people that you will meet here.It is a great place to visit but you will encounter some really drunk people.
Wednesday 6th April
We meet Kim and Si for our last dinner as they both leave Vang Vieng tomorrow.We head to Nazim's again.It is so good.Henry and I are going to stay until Friday and just chill out and do nothing for a few days.We will head up to Luang Prabang on Friday.