Blogs from Vang Vieng, West, Laos, Asia


Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 20th 2015

With not much else for Vang Vieng to offer us, Kate and I decided to begin our descent of Laos. With not wanting to stop over again in the capital - Vientiane - the next obvious place seemed to be a small town on the west side called savannakhet. This would mean partaking in a 16hr coach journey to get there! So, after a lovely breakfast of my new favourite thing ( muesli and yoghurt) we booked our tickets at the tour company next door. Chilling out and buying a few foodie bits for the trip we got picked up at 1ish to be taken to the bus station - bus stations are rarely in the town centres here, instead anything up to 10-15km on the outskirts. Getting our seats on a coach along with about ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 16th 2015

After reading up a little bit on Vang Vieng and the surrounding caves we decided to go and see a few. So after breakfast Kate and i wandered down the road to hire a couple of pushbikes, as each of the caves was only a few kilometres out from town - and the exercise would do us good! For just over £1 for the day we rode off with a map on a couple of ok looking mountain bikes. Heading firstly in the direction of the blue lagoon cave. We turned off the main road and crossed a couple of bridges before joining a very off road road - More akin to a dusty, dirt track on the south downs way! After cycling for only 7km - but on those tracks and in the relentless 35 ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 15th 2015

Waking up and feeling much better after a good nights kip, kate and I decided that Vientiane didn't have a lot to offer and that maybe we should leave. So after walking to the end of the road to have some breakfast and then out to see the Mekong - which is a somewhat disappointing sight from the capital city, we booked our seats to Vang Vieng for 13.30. Grabbing some drinks and biscuits for the 4-5 hour minibus ride we were picked up sharp and then on our way. Sitting up front ( ive travelled in the back on enough roads in Laos!) it was quite an enjoyable journey. With the scenery dramatically changing from flat back to the lovely limestone hills of the north. With windy - but not too bumpy roads we travelled ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng May 12th 2015

On May 11th we drove from Luang Prabang along a steep new road through the mountains that cut two hours off the older route to Vang Vieng. It was cool and very misty but we caught glimpses of impressive views as the mist rolled around. Before we reached the mountains we passed many rice fields and also visited a mixed race village of Hmong, Lao, and Khmu people. On different sides during recent conflicts, the government is obviously working to unite the different groups. The village school children were on a break and we created much interest. They giggled when Keith showed them photos of themselves and it was a pleasure to see them active and playing as at a couple of Lao villages we visited along the Mekong the young children had been sitting vacantly ... read more
Mountain short cut
Karst limestone topography
Sunset (almost)

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng March 16th 2015

My pickup for the bus to Vang Vieng arrived just as I finished breakfast, on a moto. He put my suitcase between his knees, I jumped on behind him, and we headed into town. I expected to be dropped at the bus station, but instead, ended up at the office where I bought the ticket. With just enough time to stock up on water and chocolate, I was directed towards a songthaew which already held six others, luggage piled on the roof. They all shuffled along and made room for me and two others. Then our overloaded vehicle headed to the bus station. I am doing this trip in a mini van, and hoping for a reasonable degree of comfort. The ticket cost me $21.50. Thankfully there was one person per seat and we left on ... read more
Over The River
Over The River
Over The River

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng February 16th 2015

One of the highlights of my Southeast Asian journey was Vang Vieng, a small town in central Laos, a place of much controversy. In the last decade it became extremely popular and known for its stunning scenery and crazy parties. But it all went too far. According to unofficial data more than 20 people died in the river Nam Song in 2011 alone, by practicing tubing under the effect of alcohol and drugs. It all came to an end in 2012 when police suddenly shut down many tubing facilities and brought control, perhaps too much of it. Having read so many different opinions I knew I had to prepare well for this destination. Nevertheless, the search for a place to stay ended at the very beginning. In Vientiane we met a friendly older man in our ... read more
Biking between the mountains
Nam Song river
Nam Song by canoe

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng December 30th 2014

So, yesterday we did quite a bit of work at the school and farm. For the first half of the day we went to the small village, Keo Kuang, and helped cement the base of the bathroom. Near lunchtime, sai and I decided to play some soccer. We ended up having a little crowd of kids around us smiling every time I couldn't juggle the ball (I can't juggle, in general). We played with the kids for a bit and then their recess was over. Sai and I went to the farm shortly after and watered the plants. We figured out last week the blueprints for the water system. Currently, we are taking the water from our well and filling big jugs. Let me tell you that the well is where the opening of the farm ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng December 27th 2014

Before I went to the wedding the girls, On and Ved, let me borrow a skirt and flip flop heels(same size luckily). They also braided my hair a certain way that is normal here. I'm thankful for them because I didn't want to look too falang at the wedding! When Sai and I arrived at the wedding ceremony the bride and groom and their families were waiting at the entrance to greet all the guests. We did the nop greeting(hands in a prayer position by your chest) and then seated ourselves. The environment was like an American wedding reception.The ceremony was outside and started around 8pm. After an hour the bride and groom walked in the middle and some photographer took some pictures. A few people spoke on the microphone and that was it. No clue ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng December 27th 2014

The past few days have been so much fun and I feel I have experienced so much Lao culture already! Christmas day the staff told me not to work on the farm. It's no holiday for most Laotians, but they were nice enough to buy fake snow spray cans and we had a little celebration at the house. Later that evening, we had some beer Lao (I don't like beer, but if someone offers you anything you must accept) and Davone and Sai took me to a few bars. There were many falangs( laotians call any foreigner that)! The next day for lunch Sai invited me to a house warming party. One of his friends just built a house and it was a festival with many many people and tons of food..and beer Lao. As usual ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Vang Vieng December 23rd 2014

So the staff told me that dog tastes better than chicken... also, there is a dog stand just off our street and I have to pass it if I want to go anywhere. At first I said no way, but it's normal over here and I should try new foods, right? I might try it..we'll see though. Yesterday I woke up at 5. I went to bed at 8 though. I can't stay up past that time no matter how hard I try. Jetlag will be over soon, I hope. I ate some breakfast and around 8 Sai and I rode on his motorcycle to the farm. From now on I have to ride a bike since I know where it's at. It's about a 30 minute bike ride, which isn't bad considering the view. He ... read more

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