We shall begin with the highlight of our stay in Vang Vieng, Tubing. Yes, it was tubing and not eating, for a change. Tubing involves sitting yourself in an inflated tractor tyre inner tube and floating down the Mekong River. Along the way there are conveniently located riverside bamboo bars. These bars have good food, good alcohol and VERY LARGE trapeze-style swings over the river. We perfected the technique of swinging in tandem and both landing in the river without drowning one another. Along with the locals, we also enjoyed watching cocky americans attempting sumersaults and landing on their faces (Adam Rickett). The rest of the trip downsteam was hard work, the feeble current meaning we had to paddle ourselves down using flip-flops on our hands. Much of the paddling had to be done with one hand as the other hand was occupied with a beer.
We also troubled ourselves to have a traditional Lao oil massage in Vang Vieng. It was suprisingly painful, yet thoroughly enjoyable... bring on the Thai Massage.
Yesterday, instead of getting a bus, we Kayacked to our next destination, Vientiane. Our bags were put in a truck and we were put in a large inflatable kayack to take on the Nam Lik. We stopped off on the way for a riverside bbq lunch on banana leaves. We continued our paddle downstream, finding plenty of time to "accidentally" fall in, conveniently cooling us down. We made it to Vientiane and so did our bags. Vientiane seems to be a very low-key capital city, with plenty of places to mix with locals. At night it is safer to walk in the road, to avoid falling through one of the many large holes in the pavement, into the exposed sewer.
After our monthly culture-fill from the National museum this afternoon, we will be getting a night train to Bangkok in Thailand, to stock up on toiletries from Boots. We are looking forward to leaving our now rather large rucksacks in Bangkok train stations left luggage. We will be taking only the essentials in a small bag to the south of Thailand for the last two weeks of our trip.
So long suckers. xxx