Laos is incredible, I'm even debating whether or not I prefer it to Cambodia yet!
It didn't start off so good though - the 21 hour bus ride from Hanoi to Vientiane was rough, possibly the weirdest experience ever. It was a sleeper bus, so 3 rows of bunkbeds. Luckily we were in the top bunks, as they loaded the aisles with people and bags and items they were smuggling into Laos. Oh dear.
Vientiane is really nice though, very small for a capital city but very peaceful. We only spent a night there (but we'll be heading back there next week for a longer stay), then headed up to Vang Vieng. This place is amazing, a lot of people said it's lost its "soul" over the past few years and has become really backpacker-y. Sure there are loads of places with people just watching Friends all day, and not much to do during the day, but it's an amazing location. The mountains and forests (more like jungle) here are amazingly beautiful, its just such a remote and empty country, which is what I love about it. Today was awesome - we went caving in the morning, and seeing as most backpackers were still asleep it was completely empty. This country is not so big on health and safety, so basically you just explore by yourself, and just have to not get lost or die in these crazy enormous caves. Caving was accompanied by a nice swim in the nearby stream (really cold water, which was much appreciated. The second we got into Laos, the heat returned. I missed it!)
This afternoon we braved tubing - such an awesome time! Basically you float around in a rubber tube, and get dragged to various bars along the river, each with their own massive slides or trapeze swings that just throw you into the water from ridiculous heights. I have been catapulted through the air so many times today. And ended up ingesting a lot more river water than I wanted to!
Tomorrow its another bus ride, this time only 6 or so hours to Luang Prabang, which is further north from where we are now.