Vang Vieng

Took a 3 hour bus ride from Vientiane to Vang Viene. Other than the swerving to miss the random cow and the constant beeping of the horn by the driver, it was uneventful.

The scenery was amazing, like something straight out of a movie. Our bus wound up and up into the Laos mountains and the views were breathtaking. In the foreground was the Mekong with canoes and families bathing. In the background were the irregular shaped mountains Laos is famous for. I watched the sunset out of my window on the Mekong and saw the way of life of many of the common people. We sped through towns with no names, many without electric, all were just wooden and bamboo buildings, nothing modern in sight other than the motorbikes. There were people and chickens/cows everywhere along the dusty road. We made our obnoxious entrance into their simple lives by stirring up a cloud of dust and holding down the horn to clear the road. The farmers just stood and stared at the bus load of farangs, then we were gone.

Vang Vieng is an interesting place. I am staying on an old French airstrip…very wide and flat which is out of place here in the mountains. A Mekong tributary is very close and the mozzies are everywhere. There are a lot of travelers here, the roads are just dirt, and thankfully it looks entirely different than Thailand. I am glad…I did not want to travel all this way to see the same things and people.

My bungalow is emmaculate and cheap. 200 Baht for a place with queen bed, hot shower, proper sit-down and flushing toilet! Thats unheard of in most of Thailand! The people here are very friendly as well. For dinner I had a spicy Lao chicken dish and some rice pudding. Yum.

My friend just let me know about a travel advisory for the road between here and Luang Prubang which I will be traveling in a few days. There are armed bandits that jump the buses. Its true because one of the posters here advertised “armed escort” for the VIP bus between the 2 towns. Sounds awesome, I wonder if I can pick up a cheap AK in the market tomorrow morning?

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  1. Traveling can be so humbling and thought provoking at the same time. I like what you’ve done here with this blog, you have a lot of information but it isn’t overwhelming or pretentious. If you are interested in sharing your work, I came across a great travel writing contest earlier today on [this site} that you may want to check out when you have some free time to peruse the web. Take care and enjoy Laos!

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