16 November 2007

Vang Vieng tubing

We caught an early local bus to Vang Vieng. The bus was quite usual- smashed windscreen, small cracks in the floor so the dust gets through and a live chicken on board. The Lao people are so small there are three people per bench instead of the usual two and the conductor makes sure each bench has three people and that women get priority when sitting down. I sat between two friendly girls. In Australia this kind of lack of space might cause frustration but in Laos it causes friends.

The most popular activity in Vang Vieng is the river tubing, so that what we spent the afternoon doing. Tubing along the river is beautiful. Along the way there are bars constructed from bamboo that usually have a rope swing that you can use if you buy a drink. There were lots of travellers and lots of loud western music! To get you into the bar someone throws a bamboo pole attached to a rope at you and you grab it and they pull you in. I think someone drowns every so often which is alcohol related. The rope swings are some of the best I’ve ever seen. They usually involve climbing up a bamboo platform and swinging off something that either resembles a trapeze or a flying fox. I didn’t go on any rope swings but did stop for a game of badminton.

We stayed at Viengsavanh guesthouse, and at $4 a night it is the cheapest accommodation I’ve stayed in my whole life. It was simple but good.

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