Samantha's Around the World Adventures 2012-2015 travel blog

We had a very gruelling 7 hour journey in a public bus to Vang Vieng and I’m sure I must have some bruises, it was like a torture ride. The roads are so unbelievably uneven and have the hugest bumps and potholes, a couple of times I went flying. However the time went fast as the scenary was just amazing so green for all 7 hours and lots of mountains with a clear blue sky and so interesting watching undisturbed village life. There are lots of women in the rice fields with really cute triangle hats on just like you see the movies!

When we arrived in Vang Vieng which is best known in the traveller world for Tubing, it was late so we headed out to dinner. Amber said to me – ‘hang on I just have to put they thongs on’ – I was thinking why on earth is she telling me this, I know we get on but really!.. and then I remembered all is okay it’s just her flip flops! At dinner, I had barbequed chicken which was delicious – so tasty and of course Beer Laos, although I really don’t want to leave Laos, the size of my tummy and liver will probably be grateful. I wish I could bring some home for everyone to try. The restaurant we were in played back to back episodes of friends and then Simpsons (my sister would have literally of loved this – but she wouldn’t ever move). Laos beer is a really light, not gassy beer that is like 6%. After dinner the group went for a few drinks to ‘Garys Irish Pub’ as we have two girls from Ireland in our group – it was really fun and it was full of backpackers so was a good laugh!

The following days we went to explore some caves; Elephant cave, which was actually like a temple with a reclining Buddha and bells inside. It had a rock in it that looked like an elephant which is how it got its name. We walked deep inside, to about 600m, for the next two caves. They were pitch black and we had to wear head torches. You could see the roots of massive trees and we had to do some scrambling where rocks had fallen from above. There were little lagoons which were crystal clear, in the caves but I wasn’t brave enough to go in.

Finally we went the water cave the best cave – it doesn’t have a floor just water so you sit in a rubber ring ‘tube’ and pull yourself about 500m into the cave using a rope. It was a long way in, and was pitch black too. Using our head torches we could see the water was so blue and crystal clear. It was a really good laugh and when we got to the further point there were other backpackers there and we all start chatting. Then the next thing I know we all started singing ‘aint no mountain high enough, aint no river low enough.’ Dad would be so proud, the DHL song haha great advertisement!! .. Was amazing but so surreal, singing deep in a cave in the middle of Laos in a tube in a beautiful Lagoon!

There was a current in the water that let you drift all the way out of the cave and down a river which was really cool and some good old Beer Laos was nicely consumed. The tubing that most people know where you go down a river with bars either side has now been closed down due to too many drowning’s so what we did was similar or as the locals say – ‘Same same but different’.

We had lunch in a village cooked by the locals which was delicious. We had like chicken kebabs and then vegetable rice that was wrapped up in a banana leaf and Dragonfruit and Papaya for dessert. Was so yummy and a great experience to eat with the locals in the villages. The babies/children here are sooo cute, if I didn’t have half of the world left to travel I would consider adoption!

In the evening we went to the oldest Laos restaurant in Vang Vieng. It was lovely I have Laak Koi which is like a duck salad, very traditional to their country it is mixed with so many favours, spices and vegetables with of course a Beer Laos. We headed to a bar called ‘full moon’ which was really good fun lots of backpackers there and we played pool. I had previously spoken to Sarah and Aubrey the couple from the India tour and they were in Vang Vieng too! I was having a drink with the tour group when they came along and said to the group ‘do you mind if we steal Sam?’ I was thrilled as although the tour group are lovely it is nice to mingle with some other people as well as have a good catch up! We went back to Garys Irish Bar where I met the people they had been hanging out with, was so lovely to see them and we had a good giggle before going back to full moon bar for a dance, buckets of Malibu and coke (easily one of the best inventions ever made) and a good giggle.

At midnight the lights went out as it is illegal for any bar to be open past midnight in Laos, but it doesn’t really close it just turns its lights out and music off as if it is but drinks are stills served. Then 2 guys had guitars with them and just started singing songs and everyone joined in. Some of the tour group were still in the bar so we all joined together and had a really marvellous evening.

Sarah and Aubrey have decided to go to Sydney for New Years Eve so hopefully will see them then as they go to NZ tomorrow to start their hunts for jobs.

Vang Vieng has been a ball in fact the whole of Laos has been. We head to the Capital tomorrow, Vientiane for 2 more days. I defiantly want to come back to Laos at some point in my life.

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