I Love Laos!

I am starting to like this place!

The people are friendly. The food is good. The atmosphere is laid back other than all the massive construction going on here in Vang Vieng. The muddy streets are finally starting to dry out as they bake under the hot Laos sun. There are a lot of caves here, treks, and obviously the river. I could definitely kill a few days in the outdoors here. Funny thing is, you get the impression that you are in the middle of mountain nowhere on an old French airstrip…but the internet is fast as hell – way faster than the islands in Thailand. I could be 3 days in the jungle and probably find a wireless signal here. Crazy times.

Yesterday it was hot and I was going through 1.5 litre bottles of water like they were nothing. I ran into a woman from Canada that was on our bus coming in so we spontaneously decided to go tubing down the Mekong. It was a short tuk tuk ride and they dropped us off, tube in hand. The water was cold, flowing down through the mountains, and relatively clean. We spent the next 3+ hours floating lazily down the river and enjoying the scenery. There are bars on both sides of the river every 500M or so. They stick out bamboo poles and pull you closer to the bank where you can buy food and drink without even getting out of your tube! Its a funny site to see people floating around with two 32oz beer Lao’s in each hand, using them as paddles to steer their tube. There are rope swings, towers to jump from, and ziplines as well….some very high off the water. What a great way to kill a day. We got near Vang Vieng again as the sun was starting to disappear behind the mountain and it was cooling off. A Lao kid in his underwear came out without asking us and dragged our tubes for quite a ways through the shallow part with slow current. Of course we had to tip him but it was worth it. It would have been easy to just veg out in one of the 20 restaurants in town and watch a movie. (Like Ko Phangan, there is a movie at every place including a place that plays nothing but Simpsons and Family Guy. They know my name in there now. 🙂 ) but I am so glad that we hit the river.

You can pretty much select your level of laziness or adventure here from day to day. Im trying to squeeze as much out of life here as I can…you never know when you might get jumped by bandits, crash your bus because of a cow, or even worse – end up back in an office cubicle somewhere. [shudder]

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