Yet another long bus journey in Laos later and the five of us arrived safely in Vang Vieng where we found some lovely little bungalows to stay in across a questionable bridge over the river. Feeling weary from a long days travel we set out in search of an evening meal and decided to treat ourselves to some tasty Mexican food. We were informed by the British barman that there is a ‘Jungle Project’ party every Friday night that we’d be foolish to miss out on. So that was our plans for the night sorted. The girls left the boys in a bar whilst we went to put on some make-up for the occasion (it’s a rarity in Asia) and then we got aboard the free Tuk Tuk shuttle to the party to ensure we made it in time to gain free entry. It wasn’t so much a jungle as a concrete dance floor with plants here and there but they had a bar, a barbecue and a saxophonist so all was well and a good night was had by all. The night was finished off fittingly with a hitchhike back to town off the Vientiane sleeper bus much to the annoyance of anyone trying to sleep on the bus.
To rest our sore heads in the morning we headed to one of the many friends bars that they have in Vang Vieng which as the name suggests play friends on repeat all day long. Perfect! Chris was the only one who tired of the show by the time we left the town but he’s not a real fan. If they played game of thrones on repeat I’m sure he would have been as glued as we all were to friends.
Feeling far too fresh the following morning we decided to go tubing to induce another hangover. For those who don’t know what tubing is it involves renting a giant rubber ring (or a tyre inner) and getting a Tuk Tuk upstream where you are then left to float down river back to town stopping at bars along the way. We spent more time playing volleyball and bowls at the bars than drinking so no hangovers were had this time. It was apparent that all five of us were completely useless at volleyball, as were the four girls who joined in with us, more time seemed to be spent kicking the ball than volleying it but it was a laugh nonetheless. The long float back to town took a while and it was dark by the time we handed our rings back in and we were all pretty knackered from the days antics.
It was a slow start to our last day in Vang Vieng, with more friends on the agenda and some time relaxing by the calm of the river. We decided to shape ourselves for the afternoon and have a stroll to a nearby cave. The walk to the cave provided some great scenery, it was more of a jungle walk than the one we paid to go on in Luang Namtha! The karst mountains provided a great backdrop and the sound of monkeys calling from afar made it more exciting. It was a dark cave so me and Iida decided to give it a miss and got attacked by wasps instead and Chris, Joona and Eileen went in without a torch even though they gave them out free at the entrance (bravo guys!) So not much was seen but it would be a tough job to beat the likes of the caves we saw in Vietnam.
Our 10am bus to the capital of Vientiane got cancelled so we had 3 hours of waiting around by the river before we got the 1pm bus instead. This will be our last destination with our German and Finnish friends before they head home after two years of travelling! We’ve experienced a very laid back vibe about Laos so far, with its tiny towns and no haste in the way things are done. Normally you wouldn’t expect the trend to follow when heading to the capital but it’s expected that it will on this occasion.
Photos here: Link to come!