I arrived in Vang Vieng about 1:30pm after a 3½ hour drive from Vientiane that is very scenic and only 160 baht in an air conditioned minibus. Vang Vieng is just beautiful and I have immediately fallen in love with the place. The river and mountain backdrop is just breathtaking. I am staying at the Phaserday guest house opposite the Luang Prabang bakery and is $3 for a large room double bed and shower and fan and is very clean and the Lao family that run it are very friendly. The first day is very hot but has culminated in a big storm that has cooled everything down. The second day I hired a motorbike for the day and went to Hoi Cave and the Tham Xang cave which is illuminated and has walkways and is beautiful and has breathtaking views of the valley. When you get off the bus in Vang Vieng you cross an old airstrip that used to be known as Lima site 6 and was used extensively by the CIA run air America during the secret war. The third day I got up about 8:30 am and wandered around the market and today is Labour Day so is a national holiday.
There are groups of people parading around the streets with huge bamboo home-made rockets playing drums and singing and drinking lots of Lao Lao. They let them off as part of the rocket festival to bring on the rains. I rented a tractor inner tube and a tuk tuk driver dropped me up river about 5 Km. I proceeded to float down the Nam Song River. The scenery is incredible and you can stop at various places for beer and what ever else takes your fancy. You float for about 3½ hours and coming into the village I stumbled into the rocket festival. As I was approaching one of the rockets misfired into the river about 100 metres in front of me and shot around like a rocket propelled torpedo for a bit so I decided to make shore immediately in light of the last rocket. The fourth day is here and sadly I have decided to take the bus to Luang Prabang but I will definitely be back after the rainy season.
Image of Vang Vieng - it really is a beautiful & relaxing place.
Steve's Big Trip. Ayutthava. Start. • Chaing Mai • Koh Lanta • Koh Samui • Koh Yao Noi • Angkor Temples • Battambang • Phnom Penh • Siem Reap • Sihanoukville • Champassak • Luang Prabang • Pak Beng • Pakse • Savannakhet • Vang Vieng • Vientiane • Xepon • Disaster. End.