Trip Start Jan 27, 2008
15Trip End Jun 09, 2008
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Next station stop: Vang Vieng. At this stage we had met fellow couple travellers from Canada and Kiwi Land and spent most of our time with them. Vang Vieng is a quiet town but has an awesome activity called 'Tubing'. You hire a tube and they drop you up the river about 4km from town. You float down at a leisurely pace and there is bar after bar on the river front calling you in for drinks, so it's like a pub crawl on the river. The cool thing is that each bar has giant swings and zip lining that throw you into the river.. Some are as high as 10 or 12m in the air. It was one of the best things we've done on our trip and everyone had so much fun, so all our crew did it all again 2 days later. I know alcohol and water sports don't really mix but damn it was fun! The bruises and the scars tell the story. They have a few caves around the town which were amazing but I think it's the tubing that brings most travellers to Vang Vieng.
Luang Prabang was our next place to visit and took about 6 hours in a minivan on very winding roads through the mountains, and was only about 165km away. It's a world heritage listed town and is beautiful but it gives all the locals a reason to jack up the prices and try and rip you off on everything. Hire a bike in the first 2 towns and pay about $2 then get there and they think the same bike is worth $10 or $12. Crazy! It was a cool town but we couldn't really find a decent restaurant that we could frequent. Without going too classy we tried plenty, but were very disappointed!
It was approximately a 40 hour multiple bus journey to get over to Ha Noi in the north of Vietnam from Luang Prabang so we went with the 30 minute flight and payed the $100 difference. It was worth it..
Apart from the unfortunate incident with our passports involving a few of the dishonest people in this world, Laos was beautiful and has amazing landscape and very nice people. It's worth stopping in Laos if you're out that way just for the tubing alone. Very cool!