Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vang Vieng and Vientiane

After Phonsavan I headed south to the town of Vang Vieng. I cannot say enough that to date Laos has probably been one of the most beautiful countries I have seen in regards to scenery.  Whether in the mountains of valleys it is lush with rainforest or rice fields.

There is really only one reason to head to Vang Vieng and that is too tube or Kayak down the Nam Song river. The town itself is small but loaded with young backpackers ready to tube and party their way down the river. 

Starting point for cave tubing

Myself I decided to do a combo trip which consisted of hiking through the rice fields. followed by tubing through some caves and finally kayaking down th river while visiting a few bars.

Not the greatest picture but the entrance to the caves for tubing can be seen in the background.  The entrance itself is maybe two feet high and you must follow the rope due to the strong current. Once inside the river continues for miles as you drift along in darkness. FYI if you do not like large spiders do not go!!!!! 

On the hike out we visited the Elephant cave named so due to the natural formation of the rock in the above picture. You would think it was carved, but it is all natural. 

Sleeping Budda at the entrance to the cave

There used to be over twenty bars lining the river where tubers would partake in drinks. But because of numerous accidents and deaths ( yup too much alcohol and a very fast river will do that) there are now only four bars opened. Only two bars a day are allowed open and they rotate between days.

Rain or sunshine the games go on. The bars are setup for fun with basketball, lawn bowling and volleyball. All which turned into mud events due to the excessive rain. You are getting wet in the river anyways so who cares.

Everyone needs a beer tree.

Just a few shots of what I saw on my way to the capital of Laos Vientiane. Sometimes I think I am overloaded but I do not even come close to what they pile on these poor little scooters.

Because it is the rainy season the cows were always sleeping on the road. You can never relax when driving in these countries because you just never know what will be on the road.

I will say that the capital of Laos was a complete let down. Expense in relation to the rest of Lao and nothing to see in the capital itself. I had planned two days there, but easily could have left after just one night.

Struggling to find things memorable in the city to photograph.

This again just reminds me of the difference between western and developing countries. We all know a red curb or red/white means no parking there. So I give full marks to the Lao people........No problem we will just park on the sidewalk then. And of course not one ticket on a windshield to be found. Sometimes we make things so difficult in developed countries when the answers are so simple.

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