The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

The Magical Vang Vieng


Yesterday we made our way to the little town of Vang Vieng.  The roads were pretty horrendous. Every 500 meters or so it would go from semi smooth pavement to completely jagged and pot holed. There would be a reprieve for the next 500 meters and it would start all over again. This made for a longer than necessary journey. Once we got here it was like we arrived in an oasis. Nestled in between limestone mountains is this jungle town filled with restaurants and shops selling the exact same tshirt. Our room overlooks the river and with the mountains behind it, watching the sun set from our own balcony was absolutley breathtaking. Before sunset we took a tuk tuk to this remote lagoon. It was one bumpy-ass ride, and when we all got off we were about three shades darker from the dust covering our skin. We hiked up a mountain and entered a cave. It is so surreal inside. Quiet. Cool. And dark. Inside was a shrine with Buddha which made it feel so peaceful. The trek down in flip flops was a little daunting, but after making it to ground we were able to jump in a picture perfect blue lagoon. Complete with a tree swing and fish swimming  around your legs, it proved to be  awesome and refreshing. It is amazing to see the beautiful views and I have to keep pinching myself to tell me this is real.

The view from my balcony!

After dinner on the way back to the guest house a friend and I decided to go for a foot massage. It ended up being a half hour of full leg heaven. What a way to end the day!
Today we experienced what this town is known for – tubing. People come from all over the world to go tubing down the river. The river is lined with pumping music, drinks galore, drugs and ‘special drinks’. Basically you float down the river on tubes and the guys whip their rope at you from land and pull you in. It is a true party place but unfortunately one with many, many casualties. In fact, 3 Aussies died here last month. Not only is the booze and drugs cheap, but they equip the place with zip lines and slides. Water, shallow river beds, hard rocks and drunken idiots really equal a recipe for disaster. But if you do this wisely, it was a freaking fun day. We spent the first three hours partying with the rest of them, but knowing we had to get our tubes back to town by 6pm and had only 2 hours to float to the town,  Helen and I decided to leave the young party goers and float down the river by ourselves. Most of the river current really wasn’t that strong so we basically swam all the way there. At times the river was so shallow, other times the current took us pretty fast, but like I said we did a lot of the work. I am actually very proud that we made it to the end and those other girls who stayed back to party really missed out on some amazing views. I wish I had a camera to capture everything, but I didn’t want to risk getting it wet or lost like I did my new Rey Bens (Ray Bans that are a bad knock off).


Anyway, back to land I finished off the day with yet another massage. This time an hour of legs and arms. ahhhhhh.


It is hard to believe this trip has wizzed by so fast. I cant stop dreading the fact that a week from Monday I will be back at work. grrrrrrr



2 responses to “The Magical Vang Vieng”

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