Maureen's Adventures in Asia travel blog

Room with a View

My favorite spot was on the third floor balcony of my hotel (see photo) - overlooking the river with the limestone mountains in the background.

From Vang Vieng, looking over the quiet waters of the Nam Song to the limestone outcrops layering into the distance in hazy greys and blues, is one of the most beautiful views imaginable. In the foreground, as you stand there, are people from outlying villages arriving and departing in motorised ox carts that trundle through the wide, shallow river. But the real attractions of the area are the scenery ... and the numerous caves and caverns.

It is a strange town. It didn't really exist before the backpackers came. They saw the beauty of this area, and wanted to stay - a town emerged. But this is not really a Laos town, it is a town filled with restaurants with identical menus, each playing episodes from the American TV show - Friends. VERY WEIRD.

There is one cool place in this town (besides the amazing mountains and caves), and that is the Phoudindaeng Organic Farm. Its located in the village of Phoudindaeng, about 3 km north of Vang Vieng. The farm was founded by Thanongsi Soangkoun in 1996 with the goal of introducing organic farming methods in an area where chemicals and deforestation were ruining the land. He wanted to lead by example, showing that organic methods could be profitable as well as healthy. He also wanted to assist the local people through community projects supported by the profits from the farm.

Today, the farm is a vibrant center for a variety of projects that center around the organic production of mulberry trees, along with organic fruits, vegetables, and poultry for their restaurant. The mulberry trees provide leaves to feed to the silk worms, plus mulberry tea, mulberry wine, and mulberry shakes (these are so good!). I can't bring back the shakes, but I promise everyone a glass of Mulberry Iced Tea when I get back

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