So having realised that Vientiane is the smallest, quiest, probably dullest capital city I've ever been to, and I'm fairly sure I can vouch for Jade on that one too, we decided to head off North to Vang Vieng as soon as possible. We haven't really done any research on Laos and are taking everything by ear, which we're finding to be a great way to do it so far. After sleeping for longer than I probably should have, and then taking a long time to pack, once again thats just me Jade was mrs. I don't need to make a huge mess in the hoptel room for a one night stay!!! Anyway after getting lunch at about 10.30 at a fairly western juice bar, that served Tasty fruit shakes...as you'd hope, I mean if I were to start up a juice bar, I'd probably make it my main objective to make sure the shakes we sold were top notch!!! We got a tuk tuk, who we've been informed, along with other shop establishmkent, you can't barter with!! so had to pay 50, 000 kip (8,700 = 1 US dollar). The bus station the driver took us to however was not the one we had checked bus times at the day before, and on arrival we found out the next bus was to be at 1.30, the time was 11.30 when we got there. Not wanting to pay another 50, 000 kip to get to th other bus station or back to river side, where the majority of restaurants and people is, we decided to stay at the bus station and get some reading done.
The two hour break went fairly fast and we got on the bus that was costing us 40, 000. So think about how these pricing don't fit together right. 50, 000 kip to the bus station, a 5 minute ride, 40, 000 kip to Vang Vieng what we thought was to be a 2 hour journey, and turned out to be a 4 hour journey!!! some how those pricing don't really fit to me!!! The journey was ok nothing better nothing worse, the highlight/worst partwas the unneccesarily loud Laos music nbeing played on the bus, oooh and the women getting off for a good old toilet squat half way!!!
In Vang Vieng, which I had literally just read about in my book, and found out how random it is to be here in the first place. The lonely planet says the main road is like Las Vegas in Nevada, ie completely out of place. After working out that we should probably walk towards the taller buildings we found a hotel which is pleasant enough, a TV with HBO and True Sports, the Asian sports network that steals all European sports broadcasts and then might talk over the commmentry. After watching the second half of Liverpool vs somebody, we went for an internet break and headed off for dinner. One of the other things I had read about this place on the bus journey here was the Friends phenomenem thats hit it. By that I mean basically ever other bar plays old episodes of Friends on a loop while you eat. We were right in the mood for such a situation that the Lonely Planet seems to look down its nose at....get a life you book!!!! After sitting around the restaurant for a long time we headed back to the hotel and started playing cards. Just before we were about to head to bed a Finnish guy called Olag, a primary school teacher with out a uni education invited us to sit with him and one guy and two girls from Ireland. Just before I continue about the invite we clearly took up, I read that Finnish teachers were the best trained in the world a few months ago in the Economist (yes I read the Economist, any insults or complaints about that on a postcard please!!!) and yet a meet a Finnish teacher who had nothing to do with his life so he thought he'd teach kids because there is a shortidge of male teachers there, and aparently you don't need to be clever or educated to teach little kids (those are his words). This seems to be controdictorary to me, and yet I'm fairly sure that no one reading this will find what I've just said interesting, but I'm writing and there for you will read it!!!
Ok, so back with these knewly met guys, Timo, Suzanne and Justine all really nice people, all from Dublin, and all reminding us that it was saint paddy's day. I had no idea I don't think Jade did either. After a bit of a talk the lot of us headed out to the only bar left open at that time, it was already 1am, the spider bar. We both had an awesome time, Jade being a socialite, me joining in circles of Irish sing songs, how do they know so many songs, I coul give you the national anthem, but I never will, but that is it on the whole English song front!!!
We met a couple of the Irish people who had been wasted in Chiang Mai when we were out with the trekking group, and they turned out to be really nice guys. The bar was tiny, it was all outside with a bonfire, it just had such a good atmosphere that night!!!
The place shut at 2, bu everyone was stood out on the street for a good hour after that just chatting, before the walk home to bed.