Monday, February 27, 2012

Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng was very different from Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang is asleep by 10 pm.  Vang Vieng doesn't sleep, or at least not until the wee hours of the morning.

Luang Prabang sells really nice handmade goods at outdoor markets.  Vang Vieng sells marijuana, meth, and opium.

Luang Prabang boasts some amazing food.  Vang Vieng gave Sara a stomach virus that had her up through the night.

You win some; you lose some.  Vang Vieng caters to a young and wild European backpacker crowd with cheap lodging, cheap food, cheap alcohol, and cheap drugs.  We saw a little of the party scene on our second night in town.  We were sitting at a restaurant in perfect people-watching seats by a big window.  A drunk girl staggered by and waved to us, so of course we waved back.  Oops!  Next thing we knew she was inside the restaurant in her swimsuit (probably just back from a tubing trip to some of the crazy riverside bars) asking for high fives.  We didn't leave her hanging.

Despite its problems, the town has some amazing potential.  There are tons of outdoor activities just outside of town.  We rented ATVs and rode to a beautiful lagoon and a cave a few miles from town.  We basically had to climb straight up the side of a mountain to get to the cave, and it wasn't much easier inside.  Go Anne for making it all the way no sweat and having a great time!!  The ATV ride itself was fun but very, very dusty.  I can still smell that dust.  We dodged cows at one point, crashed a traditional Lao wedding, and saw plenty of small villages along the road.

Sara, David, Anne, Gary, and Kiara
Dodging cows on the ATV
Anne making her way through the cave

Before leaving on our last day, Anne, Gary and I (Sara was still under the weather) took a boat cruise by some incredible mountains and the infamous riverside bars.


A riverboat ride from our hotel
Only one of the infamous bars on the river

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