So back on the over night bus and I get put in the worst seat on the bus again. Well it was like all the westerners on the bus got the rubbish seats and all of the locals where in the comfy ones. I must have been quite tired as I actually fell asleep on the bus, only to wake up when the bus is going up a windy road on the side of a mountain, in complete fog with no barriers on the road. I honestly thought that this was it, and we were going to fall off the side if the mountain, but thankfully after me nearly having a heart attack the bus stopped at the top of the mountain. We had arrived early and the Vietnam border and the Laos order doesn't open till 7am so we got of the bus in the freezing rain and went to the road side cafe to have some noodles. We then got passports stamped to show we had left vietnam, and we walked about 15 minutes to the Laos border. It probably wasn't a good idea to be walking in the cold and rain in a cardigan and flip flops as I was freezing, but I didn't expect the border to be practically on top of a mountain.
After getting our visa's we all got back on the bus for the next part of the journey to Vientiane, the Laos capital. In all the journey from Hanoi was supposed to take 24 hours, so we were really supprised when we arrived at the bus station in the capital 5 hours early. We got a tuk tuk to our hotel and had a walk around the night market then booked a bus to take us to Vang Vieng the next day.
Laos is a very poor country so the roads are really bad, the bus ride to Vang Vieng was so bumpy I dont know how the wheels actaully stayed on the bus! You can't even call it a road it was basically one long path of huge rocks, so it was quite an uncomfortable 4 hours. We found somewhere to stay for the night and had a little look around, it was quite a sleepy town, and the main reason people visit here is to go tubing - we were really excited for this.
The next day we checked into somewhere else and went for breakfast. There are so many restaurants and guest houses in Vang Vieng and they all have tables where you sit on the floor or on cushions and every single one of them has tv's that play either friends or family guy. It's quite strange when you walk down the road and all you can hear is different episode's of friends being played.
We decided to go tubing the next day, so we paid for our tube (which is the inner tube of a tractor tire) and took a tuk tuk to the place where the tubing starts. It's a crazy place as soon as you arrive. There are bars all around the river, and when we entered the first bar we got a free shot of Tiger Whisky (which is a drink made in someone's back yard in laos). The weather was so nice, and the music in the first bar was really good so we stayed their for a while and had a few buckets. Other bars have zip lines and places to jump off into the water. Then it was time to actually get in our tube. As its the dry season the current isnt as fast, so we put our flip flops on our wrist and floated towards the next bar. Someone who works at the bar threw a rope for us to catch and pulled us in. Another free shot of whisky and some more buckets the time was flying by and we had only been to two bars. The river is 4km long and we had to have our tube back by 6pm otherwise we would be fined, and we had only moved a few meters down the river. So we got back in our tubes and without any current we had to use our flip flops as paddles. The river was quite shallow and we scraped past a few rocks on the way which meant I ended up with some huge bruises on my legs but being very drunk at this point I didn't feel them till the next day. After realising we won't make it all the way down the river in time to get or tubes back we got out and got a tuk tuk back to the town. We had something to eat then went to smile bar for some free buckets then on the way back we got a peanut butter and nutella pancake it was the nicest thing ever!
The next day we didn't have hangovers suprisingly, but decided not to go tubing so instead we hired some bikes and had a ride through the town. After being on the bikes for about an hour we gave them back as it was far too hot to be cycling, so we sat in one of the restaurants and had a slushy instead, then watched some family guy and friends.
We went tubing again the next day, but instead of getting a tube this time we decided to walk through the bars. It was st patrick's day so everyone was wearing green. Having nothing green to wear Jane got a green plastic bag and made bows out of it, we then stuck them on clips and put them in our hair - quite artistic if you ask me! I tried to stay away from the tiger whisky this time so we just had a few drinks. The first bar we went to organised games, and if you were irish you could play musical tubes to win a free bucket, it was really funny to watch as people where going flying everywhere as the floor was so slippy! The sun was extra hot so after a few more bars we went back to our hotel, then went out for tea.
It was our last day in Vang Vieng, so we did a bit of shopping and bought a "Tubing in Vang Vieng" top each. Everyone here wheres them and since we survived tubing we thought we should definitely get one. Later that night we went to a little cafe and had a cake each then went to smile bar for some free buckets, most probably our last ones in asia which was a sad thought! In the bar a gang of us played a really good drinking game which at first was quite complicated and I was rubbish so had to take a shot of tiger whisky, but once the game changed to double shots of the whisky if you lost we decided not to play anymore - theres no way we could take a double shot of the whisky it's discusting! We didn't stay out too late that night as we were up fairly early for our trip back to the capital the next morning.
The bus ride back was again very very bumpy! But we arrived back at the capital in the afternoon and we checked into a hostel, it was very basic but it was just what we needed for one night as we were of to Kuala Lumpur the next day :) I was so looking forward to being back to civilisation!