Hippies.They're everywhere. They wanna save the earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad.

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Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng
March 11th 2006
Published: March 11th 2006
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Vang ViengVang ViengVang Vieng

is kind of a dump.
Vang Vieng is a strange little town. I was planning on avoiding it entirely, but a stopover here breaks up the Vientiane- Luang Prabang bus ride (9 hours of whipping around hairpin turns through the mountains of north Laos) quite nicely.

I knew I would hate Vang Vieng before I got here. Its one of those places, you either love it or hate it. I tried to keep an open mind- why did I have to act like an old man all the time? I could have fun with my peers. My dreadlocked, unshowered, Che Guevara shirt wearing, pseudo-intellectual hippie peers...

I really don't hate Vang Vieng. It just makes me sad. A couple of years ago this town didn't have electricity, these days as you walk down the main street in town you pass by a dozen cafes each blaring a different episode of Friends. Of all television shows in the history of television they pick Friends!

In addition to the regular menu featuring mediocre interpretations of Western food, most of the cafes in Vang Vieng have a "special" menu featuring happy pizza, happy shakes, happy omelette, opium tea, etc.

The favorite activity in Vang Vieng
Vang ViengVang ViengVang Vieng

too bad its at such a nice location
is indulging in some happy pizza and chasing it down with a happy shake before tubing down the river for a couple of hours. The scenery is beautiful with the mountains and the jungle, but you get a bit distracted by the many riverside bars blasting- you guessed it- Bob Marley. Its just that predictable.

Vang Vieng isn't all bad. There's an organic cafe selling mulberry shakes that are better than the best Jamba Juice you've ever had and cost 60 cents. Some of the TV cafes screen episodes of The Simpsons instead of Friends. I haven't seen an episode of The Simpsons in almost two months, which is as long as I've been Simpsons-less since 1991. I admit it, I patronized the evil TV bars of Vang Vieng.

For some people this is "traveling".

Turn on, tune in, and drop out.

If only they'd show South Park- "They're not people, they're hippies!"

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


TV cafeTV cafe
TV cafe

playing the Simpsons
Special funny happy menu just for youSpecial funny happy menu just for you
Special funny happy menu just for you

a bag of opium goes for about $8
Third world construction Third world construction
Third world construction

Vang Vieng is basically one massive construction site.

11th March 2006

Oh Katie!
Reading these entries makes me sincerely, sincerely happy. Your travel blog shall serve as a template for my own future escapades in 'Nam, someday soon, hopefully. A++
16th March 2006

That's a fantastic (and oh so appropriate) title!
18th March 2006

I didn't realize how completely much of a loser I am. For 100 percent real you are taking me to see "the world" so you can teach me how to be hardcore. Think seriously about Korea even though you do not currently dig it. We will stay away from Seoul and Pusan that is fine, but the countryside is supposedly completely awesome. Congratulations for being the awesomest person ever, do not die. Also do you want me to mail you pencils for when you go back to Vietnam.
11th March 2007

Locals in exile
Did you know they've built a new market a couple of kms out of town and the locals are moving there, leaving the "old" town to the hippies. now that's really sad!!
5th October 2007

Don't dis on hippies...
...at least they care about the wider world, which is more than you can say about most people. i'm going to vang vieng! forget about the tubing, the view, or watching Friends. Serve me up some happy pancakes washed down with some opium tea!!!!!!!!!!

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