the winding spiralling journey through the Laos highlands from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng has to be one of the highlights of our Laos experience. The scenery was so beautiful, I took photographs but didnt keep them as they really couldnt do the place justice! Te rilling hills looked like giants sleeping under a myriad of green patchwork blankets! Almost vertical rice fields, I'm amazed at how anyone can climb the hills, let alone farm on them! People of all ages lugging sacks of grain on their shoulders through steep and windy roads, through the colourful mountains and it was so twisty I fell off my seat so many times!
Arriving in Vang Vieng, I have to admit we were dissapointed after the spectacular scenery -Its an example of the wrong way to do tourism in a country like Laos - 'Friends' blaring from 5 bars so you can hear all episodes at the same time - AArgh! (obviously i do like friends but in smaller doses and not here!) Incredibly drunk english idiots everywhere you look, (I thought id left northampton?!)
However, the disappointment wore off as we saw the gorgeous scenery and foud ourselves a little piece of paradise amongst the hordes, a real diamond in the rough! great views and riverside location for a tiny bungalow for 1.50 a night! We took the lazy option of tubing the river as we did in Khao Sok in Thailand,floating down the Nam Ou river on our backs staring up at the skies, but this involved a little more effort as you had to get out of the tubes and fling ourself off precarious rope swings and zip wires into the water from ridiculous heights! (I shall try to upload the video evidence of me showing how Not to do it!) We managed to drag ourselves out of the water again for volleyball and food accompanied by the dulcet tones of old Bob Marley!We ended the day in spectacular fashion getting caugt in a storm for an hour desperately paddling against the wind and were fished out of the water by some small children (suprise suprise they wanted paying!) we also took a day trip kayaking, which was so much fun, we kayaked 20km down the river through rapids and still waters cooked vegetable kebabs on a fire by the river (next to the shoddiest looking bridge made of string and bamboo which chris braved) he also relived his professional kayaking career, another video i will put on here! Most of the journey was spent haing fierce splashing wars! we trekked and swam throug a pitch black cave, just candles which the guide thought was hilarious when he blew them all out and we were left to stumble through the dark searching for the way out!! An excellent time had by all and ended the trip playing poker for stones! Early rise to head off to ientiane where we send\t a few days preparing visas for Cambodia... off to the South to explore !