The day starts with an early morning walk to the travel agency to get on the bus to Vang Vieng- what we don't realise it that we haven't changed our clocks over yet and its actually 7:30am not 8:30am..so we have a little time to wonder around and have an English Breakfast... the first and last, always forgetting that an English breakkie in alot of Asia consists of a piece of limp white ham, a deep fried egg and a few chicken frankfurts :) From now on.. I'm sticking to the fruit salad!!
We hop into the mini van and get the VIP bus to Vang Vieng- only 4 hours or so. When we get the the bus its actaully a smaller bus then the mini van we arrived in- being the last to arrive we end up sitting on two make-shift seats in the middle of the isle... after 5 minutes bumping along the road we turn to each other and roll our eyes, this is going to be a very, very long and bumpy ride. By the time we got there Will and I are being entertained by watching each other getting flung from one side of the bus to the other... really, not the best of seats. :)
As we are about an hour out of Vang Vieng Wills sparks up a conversation with a fellow Aussie on the bus and when we arrive we decide to go in search of cheap diggs together... of we head, he is keen to find the best bargain... picks up his pack and his girlfirends and flies down the road...we hurry along after him eagerly.
We find ourselves at a stand still when we hit the river. In front of us is a bridge, the likes of which I have only ever seen in Indianna Jones movies!!! With a big gulp we step onto the rikatey bamboo slats, one step in front of the other... oh shit, is it too late to turn back? We finally reach the other side ...legs jelly, hearts a flutter, 'lets not do that again! We check out the room, damn it shantie style- we have to brave the swinging death trap once more.. we settle for a decent, clean little place in the centre of town for 50,000 kip ($10) NICE.
The rest of the avo is spend chilling and chatting, we discover our hotel has a great balcony and decide to make the most of our premiium location to watch the sunset.... hammock, spy wine cooler (Beer Loas for Will :) and the most stunning view of the jungle engorged mountain ranges on the horizon, complete with blood red sun and the meandering river just a stones throw ahead with local children swimming whilst thier mothers wash thier clothing- JUST AMAZING!
We head out to dinner and to sample VV's night life.... and there is alot of life to be found. The pubs & clubs are pretty crazy... like something out of a Sean Kingston video (yet not anywhere near as sexy in real life and definetley alot more sweaty)- our Aussie friends claim defeat over the seething crowd of shirtless Europeans and we get chatting to a bunch of Irish lads- needless to say Laos Whikey buckets + the Irish = carnage.
The next day we force ourselves out of bed and foggily remember that we have made plans to experince Vang Viengs biggest attraction... tubing. We head off in a tuck-tuck to the 'take off point'.
Ok, now for those of you that think a pub crawl is pretty much the ultimate way to spend the day (Mick. Darren. H-E-A-V-E-N:)... get this. 10 or more funky bamboo bars constructed over the stunning, slow paced river. 5 dollars for a bucket of crazy-juice or $1 for a BeerLos (aka king brown) and a gazzilion different thrills and spills to entertian you on the way... flying foxes, rope swings, a mega slide- not to mention the clever vendors further grabbing you with body painting, free shots and a bunch of cute little baby animals to entertain the wasted westerners (*thats actually really NOT COOL) this place is crazy and the ultimate PARTY- with many ways from one bar to other...swim, float...actually not that many options ;)
We had a great day but decided to keep to schedule and make an early morning departure..tonmorrow Luang Probang!!