Well, we have had a few eventful and a few not so eventful days in Vang Vieng. The town is in a beautiful setting, on the side of a river surrounded by kask mountains. The purpose of this town is for backpackers to get very drunk, float down the river on inner tubes and stop off at bars which have huge slides, zip wire and swings. I would hazard a guess that this will be the least cultural thing we have done, or will do for the rest of the trip.
Our first day on the river was great fun, we met some really nice people who were from Brighton. After a few drinks we all plucked up the courage to go on some of the riverside toys. The first zip wire was reached by climbing up a 20 meter high bamboo ladder, Matt did this one but I didn't. The next bar had a smaller, slower one which I had a go on and survived without incident. As you float down the river the bars will pull you in by throwing you a bottle on the end of a rope - ingenious!
The final bar had a huge slide, and another big zip wire. The slide was great fun, and the zip wire would have been too if I hadn't belly flopped into the water, winded myself and then spluttered to the steps with the aid of an unknown man with tattoos. I actually have visible bruises on my stomach. Matt came off unscathed, however.....after a day of recovery we met up with our new friends to go again.
I wasn't up for drinking, but luckily Matt had enough for the both of us, and then some! Having taken the executive decision that he wasn't going in the river again, I marched him down the river bank to the next bridge, shoved him in a taxi and put him to bed (only to watch him have a sneezing fit in his sleep and fall out!)
Today he is feeling very sorry for himself, and has spent most of the day watching friends and drinking water. Please feel free to email with some words of sympathy or offer some advice about appropriate behaviour for a man his age!!! Tomorrow we are of to Luang Prabang and will be seeking out the more cultured side of life once again!!!