Tuesday, April 17, 2012


My final country is Laos.  I was only able to experience 2 cities in my week and a half here - but it was well worth it. 

Vang Vieng

When I first started to plan for Laos, I had struck this city from my list of things to do.  It's town filled with heathens, parties, drugs, and who knows what else.  But then I changed my mind.  Sounds like fun. 

The initial drive to Vang Vieng was brutal.  I was continuing my trip with my trusty travel buddy - Dave.  We bounced around the mini-bus for 4 hours.  It was rough. 

The main attraction here is the tubing.  When they say tubing, they don't mean the Texas tradition of bringing a cooler of beer down the river for the day - they mean, "Let's rent a tube and float for 30 seconds at a time in between bars that reel you in with a water bottle attached to a line!".  Both of these types of floating are approved by me.  However - due to the high rate of deaths on this river due to dangerous terrain, platforms, waterslides, alcohol, and drugs - we made a decision to attempt not to do anything stupid (not that all of us followed that rule). Overall the day was fun - but being awake while your body begins to sober up and the hangover initially kicks in is unpleasant. 

Also - I will not be eating pizza again for some time.  That's all I have to say about that. 

Sadly, by day 4 I had bought a bus ticket to Luang Prabang.  I only had 1 week left in Asia at this point and I needed to move on before I headed back to Bangkok and then America.  So without my travel buddy - I left Vang Vieng.  I hope he doesn't die back there. :)

Luang Prabang

The ride to Luang Prabang takes about 7 hours through mountainous terrain and roads that make you want to scream in terror for fear of falling off a cliff at high speeds.  Luckily - I made it to the end. 

Day 1 in the city I did nothing.  I began to wonder why I had left Vang Vieng.  In all honesty - I probably should have stayed just one more night.  But - no use having regret when you have to embrace your last few days away from the real world! Also - I almost forgot - It's SONGKRAN! Water fights all over town.  Soaked through 2 sets of clothes that are now continuing to dry in my room - awesome holiday.

Day 2 I took a van to the Kuang Si waterfall.  First you see the rescue Malaysian sun bears.  They're cute.  Then you walk up a jungle path to the many layers of the waterfall.  I went swimming at the top.  I may have been the only one in an actual swim suit and I felt like I may have been offending some people - but I was enjoying the cool water. 

By this point I had already found some new people to hang around so that night we went out and discovered the bars...they close at 11:30.  So we went bowling.  Apart from the incredibly rude and obnoxious French-Canadian girls who attempted to make fun of me for being from Texas (y'all sounded like fools trying to do the impressions fyi!), it was alright.  I got to bowl in a foreign country!

My final day in Luang Prabang has been nice.  Slept in - climb to the top of the mountain to a temple - bought some more artwork - and had a massage at the Laos Red Cross.  Now I think I will eat some noodle soup, read a book, nap, and then go to bed so I can wake up at 5:00am for a ride to the airport.  Can't wait!

3 more days til I'm home! Tomorrow - Bangkok!

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