Vroom-vroom – Vang Vieng and Vientaine

So apparently we arrived in Vang Vieng around midday. Apparently I regained consciousness around dinner time, apparently we went to a few bars that night and enjoyed the night life. I don’t recall any of these occurrences.

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The next day I got a chance to get the lay of the lands in Vang Vieng. It is a really beautiful spot with big limestone mountain/hills around the village which has the river cutting through the middle. There’s caves, and dirt roads, and rivers and bars.

We spent the day exploring ourselves on … I actually don’t know what these are called? Quad bikes? 4 wheelers? Jono says buggies. Oh well, it was fun.

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We honestly did this for hours, it was nice just driving around, exploring the area and enjoying the scenery. I’m also a total geology nerd and there’s all sorts of caves all around the village. One of my favorites was the Tham Nam Water Cave that you explore with tubes and ropes. A bit like a human conveyor belt. Afterwards we kayaked back to pretty much our hotel along the river. Check it out here.

Another nice spot to visit when in Vang Vieng is the Blue Lagoon 3. There are signs all around for imitation lagoons, here are the directions to the real blue lagoon. There you will find a cool place for a cold swim, platforms for sunbaking and some food and drink for sale. Worth the drive to spend the day.

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Overall Vang Vieng didn’t have a lot going on. I had heard tales of a wild backpacking party town, expecting it to be flat out and full of people. It wasn’t. Vang Vieng was a little bit like neverland. Most of the people who lived there were white people who seem to have thrown their passport in the river to live there forever but probably should have ended their gap year and gone home to pack up their stuff from mum and dads house seven or so years ago. In saying that, you can certainly see the appeal, there’s loads of commodities, food, relaxation, and it’s cheap, what else?

Next stop is Vientiane the capital city of Laos. It was an equally laid back place, albeit a larger city of course. There were a number of temples to visit but to be totally honest after a few weeks of travelling we were getting pretty close to being templed-out.

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One of the highlights in Vientiane was going to COPE Laos. This is a place for education on UXO which is unexploded ordnance that still litters the country and leaves many people with life-affecting injuries. The COPE centre provides prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation services to those who have lost their limbs as a result of unexploded bombs. The centre was educational on Laos’ troubled history, and is a nice opportunity to give back as a visitor. 

This blog post is a part of a series I wrote while on the Contiki Asian Adventure Tour.

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