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Published: December 12th 2006
Travelled north to Vang Vieng, set out in the limestone mountains in a beautiful valley by the Nam Song river. Vang Vieng is quite a surreal place - absolutely stunning scenery, and in the middle of it, just one road planted there for travellers, full of guesthouses and 'tv bars', most equipped with bed-tables for slobbing around! Is quite the backpackers haven.
Met 2 girls, Kat and Lisa, in my guesthouse, so spent the days in Vang Vieng with them, which was fun. Went 'tubing' down the river - the famous activity in Vang Vieng, which was brilliant fun - we hired huge rubber rings, and floated down the river, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, for the whole day. On the way, there are makeshift 'bars' (which are really bamboo stilt huts with bamboo slats for sunbathing) where you can stop to drink the famous Beer Lao (that's all you hear on the way - "BeerLao, BeerLao!" from the vendors), and swing from fun ropeswings and ziplines in the sunshine. Great way to spend the day!
And as for the 'tv bars' which lots of people complain about, blaring out episodes of Friends all day, but I LOVED it!
Being the girl who watched 2 episodes of Friends every day for the past year, was sooo happy to lie down on one of the 'bed/tables' with a cup of tea, just veg and watch Friends. Such a relief to do something normal and homely....
Also went to visit one of the famous limestone caves in the area. We hiked up these craggy rocks and into the cave, unguided. So we were climbing through this pitch black cave which was SO muddy with nothing but candles, and, as it was on our tubing route, I was completely inappropraitely dressed, in my bikini, pink sarong and flip flops. Had to take my flip flops off and trudge through slushy MUD in the cave. Was NOT loving it and have realised what I already knew - am definitely NOT a 'caver'. Urgh, caves.
Therefore hiring mountains bikes and going to explore more caves was definitely out of the question the next day! Instead I lounged on one of the many sunbathing platforms by the river all day, reading and enjoying the scenery and sounds of the water. Oh, and watched more Friends of course! Really lovely and chilled out -
just what was needed, was great.
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