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. :)
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!