Published: October 30th 2011October 21st 2011
A snake built into the cave
I got picked up from the guesthouse in a tuk tuk which I guessed as we weren't putting our bags on the roof was taking us to the minibus funnily though some of the other passengers hadn't guessed this and thought we were doing a four hour trip in a tuk tuk with our bags on our knees. Anyway we were loaded into the minibus and were on our way. It was stunning scenery that we passed through, and the road was bumpy, windy, then a bit more bumpy and to top it off the driver spent most of the time swatting mosquitos! So it made for a fun and comfortable trip!
The minibus dropped us off outside a guesthouse in the town but a short walk towards the river and a guy at Johnnys place said they had rooms for 30000kip inc wifi and hot water it was perfect and a bargin. It didn't take long of walking around the town to realise that it is very popular with tourists and I mean very! Westerners work in the guesthouses and bars and walk around the town advertising for the bars. Its a bit like been in Ozm you
A old Bomb
Well that's one way to use them, they have enough of them!
get a free bucket with a pizza etc. For dinner I found a restaurant with Friends episodes on, after eating though I realised I actually wasn't that interested and went for a look around before heading back to the guesthouse.
While walking around I booked a trip to go trekking, visit the caves and go tubing. I asked if there were more people on the trip and they assured me between 8 and 10. Actually there was five, two were doing a half day and two a different trip so the tubing I did alone but what do you do other than do it?
I was getting picked up at 8:30 from the guesthouse for my day trip, the jeep arrived just after 9, i thought it was going to be late as it was busy picking up other people but it hadn't picked anyone else up so it was just on Lao time I guess. We picked up the others then drove out on the very bumpy road to the rice paddies. Three of us and our guide got into a small local boat that took us across the river, we then walked through the beautiful rice
paddies to three caves. First a small elephant cave which had a Budda statue in it and a carving of an elephant into the cave wall. Its called elephant cave as elephants used to live there. We then walked a bit further through the rice paddies to Luk cave then onto Snail cave. We walked through both caves, at times Luk cave was a tight squeeze but further down there was graffiti on the walls. You could walk through Snail cave for 2 days straight, we only walked for about 15 mins. Tribe people used to live in the cave during the bombing. The trekking was really beautiful, it was in the mountains but its flat at the same time. There is just a mountain then flatness then another mountain, its really bizzare scenery but stunning.
We then walked through a local village and learnt that a lot of the Hmong communities who lived in the mountains came down first in 1990 then more on 1994 and set up farms by the towns. There are around 30 people live in each village. We then walked to the river cave. The cave has a natural river running through it and
we got in our donuts and went in. There was a rope running through the cave so we pulled ourselves through on that. There was nothing much inside the cave to see but it was fun to do, the guide kept us entertained with his singing! We had lunch by the cave entrance, mixed rice with kebab sticks and a baguette. After we walked back through the rice paddies to the jeep.
The two other guests then went back to town while the guide took me tubing. I had been hoping there was going to be a few people tubing as there are ten bars along the route. In the end I had a lazy trip down the river in my donut to town. Even this way the tubing is nice to do, the rice paddies and mountains along the river are so beautiful that you can't ever complain about seeing them another way, unfortunatally though i couldn't take photos as my camera doesn't like water : (
Just as I was going out for dinner I bumped into a couple I had met four months ago in Borneo! So we caught up with what we had been
up too over dinner. Small world the travelling world! Then we met a couple that they had met on the boat so after booking our buses to leave we sat outside there guesthouse for the evening.
There are more photos below