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Published: December 9th 2016
Ha ha - who thought I would ever go Cave Tubing or kayaking? But Vang Vieng is one of those places where the kids come for their adrenaline fix. OK so we feel about 30 (maybe 40) years too old for this but what fun we have had. We booked a full day trip which started with a tuk tuk drive outside the town where we were introduced to tubing. With loads of other people we followed the rope guide through some very low caves floating in our tubes. Armed only with head torches it was quite surreal. At the far end we then free-wheeled back again downstream to the mouth of the caves. It was such fun. After lunch we then got into kayaks (with guides!) and paddled downstream for nearly 2 hours - the scenery was amazing - and the guides were useful when your arms needed a rest as they carried on paddling. There were some 'rapids' on the way - shall we just say that if you had a problem you could have stood up and stepped back into your kayak so not exactly dangerous, although the current was quite strong in places. We ended up at
the Blue Lagoon which was a natural pool where you could swim and generally relax - those who needed more adventure could go down the slide, jump from a platform in a tree into the water or use the swing. Needless to say ... I relaxed with an ice cream.
Few more days here in Laos, but the standard of houses and general living seems better than in say Myanmar. Most houses have at least a concrete structure, filled in with teak planks, and corrugated iron roofs. Like many other places they are obsessed with washing clothes, and we see their laundry draped over bamboo poles, or hanging on fences to dry.
Loads of motor scooters everywhere, but the most curious sight we have seen is the children cycling to school holding an umbrella in one hand to protect them from the sun. The motorcycles rarely carry only one person, and it is not unusual to see a mum with a toddler at the front of her and maybe two more behind taking them to school or off to the shops. It also seems that once the kids are in high school they then move from bicycles to
scooters for getting to and fro. One of the pictures below is of one of the school bike parks.
Vang Vieng has a disused airstrip running parallel with the main road. It was built during the Vietnam War era by the CIA for the secret war in Laos to enable them to supply the Royal Laotian Army and Hmong soldiers. It was code named Lima Site 27 and is crumbling now but still in evidence and apparently occasionally a small plane or helicopter will land there.
Brenda's birthday today so we did some celebrating the other evening. As one bar serves free (watered down) whisky fron 8 till 9 in the evening it seemed churlish not to help them out. And then the Irish bar next door was doing a 3 for 2 offer on cocktails. Everyone )wel most people) managed to stagger out at 9 this morning to knock on Brenda's door and greet her with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.
Happy days ......
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