After the lovely trip down the Mekong we ended in Luang Prabang.- a really nice town with a heavy French influence. The following day we had a tour around the Royal Palace Museum and saw a neat photograph exhibition called the floating Buddha. After that we took a drive up to the hills to see a beautiful waterfall (Kuang Si) which was made of many terraces and we had a nice dip there and it was cold! It was a weird feeling to be cold - I have nearly forgotten what it feels like! After lunch we headed back into town to our guides partners place (he lives in Luang Prabang) because one of the guys in our group was saying he needed his hair cut and our guides partners sister is a hairdresser - what are the odds! So we thought we would have a beer or two while we were there and then they cooked us some food then some more beer then another guy in our group was convinced to have his done too - so our short trip turned into a whole afternoon and 28 beer laos (between 6 of us) later!- and the bottles are about twice the size of our regular beers! (I also managed to re-rip my pants - which I think I forgot to mention that I ripped in the Mekong - about a 30cm teardown the back of my leg -yes I know I'm classy!) We were having a right ol' time - then when it hit 9 we went to a "club" it was so funny -we were all acting the goat and were the only whiteties there, and the music was awful! A live band sinning Lao hits - well it sounded more like strangled cats - but whatever floats your boat! The dancing was all very modest so I showed a couple of locals how we cut shapes on the dance floor back home and then they started copying me - god what a crackup. Then for a few slower songs they all stood in formation and did some kind of line dance thing -I didn't know what the hell was going on but I tried to follow along making a right dick of myself - I mean who the hell line dances - and it was more of a slow shuffle - in a club! Great stuff! The next day we had a bit of a look around town but treated it more like a day off as we were all a bit stuffed - for dinner I had the best yellow noodle green curry ever!! It was amazing!! To be honest all of the food has been incredible - that is where all my money has gone all on food and it has been so worth it - seriously if you love Thai food this place is paradise!
The following day we took a long 6 hour minibus ride to Vang Vieng - a trip that is so damn windy and bumpy that a couple were feeling worse for wear by the time we got to the other end. This town has been my least favorite so far - it is only small but totally overrun with tourists - young ones that just come here to drink. However when in Vang Vieng the one thing you should (or shouldn't do if your mother is reading this blog) do is a tubeing trip down the river. The difference with this tubeing trip is that there heaps of makeshift bars down the river bank - so as you are floating down stream a guy chucks a rope out to you and pull you into the bar where you dump your tube and have a drink. A free shot on arrival and a free shot with each drink purchased and well you can guess it gets a bit messy! We even had a snake laolao shot (there was a snake and some huge bugs fermenting in the bottle) Christ that put hairs on your chest! And there are heaps of swings and flying foxes into the river - we were all sensible enough not to do these by the way! There was one classic sign as we got there beside a huge swing "Please purchase a drink before swinging" - great idea huh! Haha (I also managed to have another causality by loosing my sunnies in the river - o well each loss makes my pack a teeny bit lighter!) We set out at midday giving ourselves plenty of time to make the 3 hour trip downstream, as the tubes had to be back by 6 without penalty - and well we were pushing it- paddling ourselves as fast as we could by the end even when local kids jumped on for a ride! We raced up to the place at 5.50! phew - but lost the other guy in our group who had our clothes and shoes so we had to walk back to where we were staying in not very modest attire (we did find him in the end though - he just hopped out at a different point to us)
After a 3 hour trip we have made it to the capital of Lao, Vientiane. We have had a wander around and have done some more eating! I am making the most of the cheap food that's for sure as I will be on a money induced diet when I get to Spain! Then tomorrow we fly to Hanoi in Vietnam where I hear the roads are chaos! I will keep you posted.
Ps- please excuse all spelling mistakes - all these blogs are usually done at high speed on keyboards that have half their letters rubbed off and Thai squiggles on them - it makes it tricky!