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Published: March 8th 2017
Leaving Phonsavan behind on the local bus ($95,000kip) I entertained myself on the eight hour journey by looking at the mesmerizing scenery of jagged limestone jungle covered mountains on the winding road. The winding road however also led to a number of children getting sick all around me. I again was entertained. Sounds strange, but you have to do something to occupy yourself on these long bus rides. My destination - Vang Vieng. The legendary backpacker party village all centered around tubing down the Nam Song River. Anything used to go here. You could do and get anything. That was until 22 tourists died last year and countless others before that. The Lao government torched all of the zip lines, jump platforms, and bars on the river. The party does still go down in town, but I had other things on my agenda.
The afternoon I arrived the weather was beautiful. Clear skies and warm sun shining down. You know where this is heading. I awoke with plans to go tubing down the river but unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas. It rained, and rained, and rained. All day. I haven't been shut out due to the weather since Indonesia
though, so I am still way ahead of the game. And if you are to be rained out a day, than this is the place to have it happen. The bars here all have lounge style seating and depending on which one you are at repeating episodes of South Park, Family Guy, or Friends are all available to you. A very strange place this is.
I stayed the night hoping for better weather and at $30,000kip for a room, I wasn't necessarily breaking the bank. I arose and again grey skies and this time only intermittent rain. So with the river again out I decided to go on a hike in the stunning mountains that surround the area. As I walked through the rice paddies I was taken aback by the piercing limestone cliffs and the fog that eerily hung to them. The ghostly sight before my eyes changed constantly as I made my way through the fields and the jungle. A different kind of hike and a different kind of beauty as opposed to the crystal clear and sunny hikes I've been on before.
After a great hike and a good night sleep I was going to
try the river one last time. Of course when I awoke the grey skies and rain continued. So I made a decision then and there to bail on Vang Vieng and head South to the capitol of Vientiane. So ya, I came to Vang Vieng and I didn't go tubing.
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