s***, woke up twenty minutes before my bus was due to leave. Just crammed all my stuff into my bag - sod the shower etc. The road to Vang Vieng (yes, pretty much one road) was a long and winding one, passing around and over sharp green mountains and jungle. Villages lined the edges of the road and the people were always happy to wave and say "sabadeeeeeeeeeeee" as we passed. I managed to tan just one arm through leaning through the window the majority of the way. Arriving in Vang Vieng I knew immediatly that I would like the place. The town only consisted of two roads, encircled with a range of mountains that looked like they had been covered with snooker table cloth: preserving Vang Vieng from the outside world. It looked like Jurrasic Park cross Mario world. A big river ran from west to east down the south side of town, and that's were all the "tubing" business goes on, as well as other water related activities. When I booked my hostel I asked about the smoke situation - where do I buy it? The landlady smiled and pointed downstairs: they sell it in the hostel - happy days. I went down after dropping my s*** off in my room and asked for a batch of their finest. The landlady tilted her head to a little old lady, who must have been in her late sixties, making baskets facing the hostel. The old lady popped into a house and waddled past me, wispering "follow me" as she went. I thought no way is this old lady dealing green, but when we got down the hostel corridor she delved into what must have been her bloomers and whipped out a fat bag of ganj (crazy I know) and uttered the words "twenty-five dollar". I know that weed is cheap here and you've got to be shrewd not to be skanked, so I had five dollars set to one side in my pocket. I pulled out the cash and told her that it was all I had. To my suprise, she dished over the bag, no haggling needed. F*cking two Oz, market value UK - $400. Now I was getting high and I soon figured out the arrangement with the police and locals regarding drugs: the police cannot enter any establishment without permission from the owner - that's resteraunts, guesthouses, pretty much anywhere were the owner is happy with stoners/shroomers/opium addicts crashing out all over the place. You can buy Opium drinks and shroom pizzas at most bars/resteraunts (ask for the "special menu"), as well as the raw form (pay $15 to smoke a gram of opium in the back of a bar while an old Lao man prepares it for you). We spent most of the evening drinking, eating and getting high down by the river, in a wooden shack bar on the river's island, absorbing the river and mountains.