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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for LA21, Laos

Sep 27, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng lies on the banks of the Mekong river. The Mekong is a big river (tenth biggest in the world I think I read) which eventually reaches the sea in Vietnam...that's a long way away from here. Vang Vieng is a really pretty little places surrounded by mountains and caves and paddy fields and little villages with bamboo hut houses. It's almost unimaginable to think what Vang Vieng would have looked like 20 years ago...or even 5 years ago. Lao only allowed tourists in in 1989 but since then certain little places that are on the...

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Sep 13, 2005 - Vientiane Again

We come back to Vientiane to bridge our travels to the south and obtain our Cambodian Visa. While were at it, we decide to visit America over at the 'ol US Embassy. MJ is running out of pages in her passport and it supposedly takes a half hour to complete the process. We shack up at our previous guest house, Joe Guest House. Not 'Joe's Guest House', but Joe Guesthouse. It does have a better ring, we think. It will only be two nights and then we head to Pakse. Not unlike our time in Guatemala we have decided to not push it in Laos. There...

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Sep 5, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is GREAT!!! Yesterday I arrived in Vang Vieng and immediately went tubing. That is the #1 "thing to do" here. A "tuk-tuk" (3 wheeled motorcycle taxi) takes you 2km up the river and you float down. There are several places to stop and hang out along the way, but it was late so I just floated. I met a nice girl from Oregon (Regina). We had dinner. Today I went on a kayaking and caving trip. We started with some kayaking and then arrived at this neat cave. You sit in an inner-tube and pull yourself along the water using a rope that...

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Aug 30, 2005 - Beautiful views and a nearly severed toe in Vang Vieng

We chose a local bus to make our way up to Vang Vieng, a mere 150 kilometers from Vientiane. We had missed this kind of travel after feeling a bit like cattle being herded up the coast of Vietnam in tourist buses which lacked any authentic culture or pulse. Sounds strange that a dirty, hot, rickety bus whose seats are crammed to their capacity and then some could be at all enticing. But it is just so exhilarating, and it makes a 4 hour bus ride, that on a tourist bus could be 2.5 hours, seem so worth it. Luckily we got to the station early,...

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Jul 26, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Arrived at Vang Vieng and stunned by the gorgeous scenery we're surrounded with. So beautiful and tranquil too. Vang Vieng is a good place with loads of activities to do. Tubing, kayaking, swimming etc etc etc Good fun!!! Theres a main road with a trip of Guesthouses and restaurants. 2 restaurants play Friends ALL DAY and there are a surprising number of people who lounge in front of the big screen all day!!! Why do they come travelling?! and why Friends??!

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Jul 17, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Perhaps falling into the backpacker cliche, I spent the time here with the traveller group and sampled much Beer Lao and the tubing experience (the two go together quite nicely). Vang Vieng is small tourist town surrounded by mountains and the Mekong. Tubing is perhaps its best known activity for the traveller and consists of getting in a tuk tuk with a large tractor tyre inner tube, being dropped off a point on the Mekong, sitting in your tube and floating down the river. Initally I thought very calm and peaceful until we got round the...

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Trip Journal


simon goes global

Jul 10, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Arrived in the chill out hippy enclave of Vang Vieng and were instantly taken for a ride in a tuk-tuk, as in charged a load off money for nothing ($2 for a 45 second journey!!!) Anyway the intention was to do a bit of tubing on the beautiful river here before heading onto Luang Prabang, alas we weren't feeling to well, especially Karen so it's on our list of things to do when we get back there some day. The journey alone though was worth it as the scenery in Laos is just stunning! We did bump into the Swedish/Norwegian contingent from Hoi...

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Jul 4, 2005 - Vang Vieng

We decided to make a stop on our way from Luang Prabang to Vientiane. The entire trip is about 12 hours on a bus, on a famously winding, vertiginous and nauseating road. Very high, very twisty, and I think there was a guard rail somewhere. It seemed to be the way to go, however. Road travel proceeds at a pace of about 30 kph. But river traffic is worse. There are 2 choices here, both involving boats on the Mekong. Slow boats take 2 or 3 days to travel between towns. The boats are narrow low wooden affairs, with a low unpadded wooden stool...

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Ungars Travels

Jun 29, 2005 - Vang Vienh

Vang Vienh is a tiny settlement North of Vientiane but its beautiful. Tomorrow I'm going to go kayaking down the river to see some caves that were rebel hideouts and are now shrines. Its so chilled out here its lovely compared to the manic South East Asian cities. No tuk-tuks at all...

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Becky's trip...

Jun 29, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Travel day down to Vang Vieng (VV)so packed all our stuff into the minibus that was going to take us to VV, I was just about to sit down into this big comfy chair when I was told that it was being reserved for the drivers maand two other people. So they then pointed to this crappy chair behind it, which had no leg room, I would just be able to fit my arse on it and the back of the chair stopped at about my chest. So I said you can fuck right off if your thinking Im gonna ride in that for the 6 hourtrip to VV. So everyone bailed on the...

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Jun 8, 2005 - Vang Vieng

It was even more of a wrench to leave Luang Prabang as we knew that our next destination would in no way be it's equal. Vang Vieng has basically grown up around the backpacker community who come here to smoke drugs, watch videos and go tubing. Still in spite of that we were told that it was a place that we had to visit, so we thought that we'd give it a go. Our first impressions were not favourable. The bus stopped in the middle of a thunder storm in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, but which was in fact Vang Vieng's main bus...

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May 19, 2005 - Vang Vieng caving

The heat made us feel lazy again today. We spent the morning lying in hammocks in the shade reading. Not very interesting I am afraid. We did manage to peel ourselves out of the hammocks at around midday and headed into town to hire a tuk tuk to take us to a cave with a lagoon next to it. Had the usual fun bartering the price down with the driver and once we had agreed on $1 per person for the round trip we were off. At a snails pace. Our vehicle was driven by a lawnmower engine. As the bridge over the river is under construction we found...

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