01.08.2011 - 05.08.2011 28 °C
What we've learned: That carrots do not have a place upon ones pizza.
After a 24 hour journey through Chiang Mai and North Thailand, we crossed the border into Laos. Once again the bus journey was horrnedous, and we were crammed in the back with all the baggage. Dashing through tiny streets throughout the night, Mads slept, Ben didn't. Standard.
Mads still had a chest infection, so Ben traipsed through Vientienne to find a pharmacy to bring her some cough medicine. Very sweet.
We waited in this town for 2 hours before we set off to Vang Vieng, by 'VIP' bus. The roads in Laos are horrendous. There are so many potholes at points it felt like the bus would tip over. The bus driver also enjoyed the threat of driving into rabid dogs, admittedly this did become quite amusing.
We finally arrived in Vang Vieng and looked for a guesthouse, obviously Mads got hot and bothered so went for a beer whilst Ben went and found one. He did this little task perfectly and their guesthouse was a little piece of heaven in what was the building site of Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng did not exceed our expectations. Bar after bar was for westerners, no Laos food. All crappy pizzas and Friends episodes. So we lived on bacon sandwiches. Literally.
Every shop sold produce for us, tops, shorts, tubing bags.. NOthing of any interest at all. It was pretty sad as it is such a beautiful place, the scenery is amazing.
ANYWAY, we did have a brilliant time here.
The first day it was raining so much we chickened out of Tubing and went Kayaking. We stopped at a bar, as you do when you're Kayaking, and Ben beat the crap out of some locals through the medium of a tug-of-war game. (He did fall into the mudddy, wee-ridden water before the game had even commenced). It rained heavily all day, but this made it really exciting. We walked home semi-naked with a steaming-hot bag of pork. Delicious. It was a pretty funny sight.
The second day, we braved it and went tubing. The river was 2 foot higher than usual, so it was definitely brave. For those of you who haven't been to Laos, tubing is a bar crawl along a river. You literally float down a (raging) river and are hauled out by tiny little locals with ropes to come and drink in their bars.
Ben thought it was a great idea to share a tube. He was wrong.
After nearly drowning at our first attempt at getting to a bar, we floated on (in our one ring) to the next bar. We were the only ones there, but it did have a nail-embedded slide. It started to rain so heavily, it was genuinely amazing. Sitting there watching everyone with a beer in a bar while it's pissing it down was really fun.
After we caught up with our friends, Mads got rope burn. Two bodies, one ring and a stupid kid with a rope caused this. Carefully, Mads deduced that it was essentially Ben's fault.
MOving on, this bar had a slide called the death slide. IT was 30 feet high (ish) and at the bottom it went back up, so you shot into the river like a bullet. GUESS WHO GOT STUCK AT THE BOTTOM? THREE TIMES! Mads was really crap at having fun. It was very embarrassing as people were laughing as she had to walk out of the slide, and literally hop into the water!! After stripping off she eventually reached Ben's level of sliding skills, and shot into the middle of the river (again like the forementioned bullet). She loved this, so did it repeatedly whilst Ben nursed
At another bar there was an inflatable where you jump on to it and two others jump together so you go flying. Ben want to be the flyist so jumped, and fell. And jumped, and fell... He was rubbish. Unfortunately he got trapped underneath and was convinced he was going to die. It was quite scary actually, as he didn't come up for ages.(sorry mums)
But he was fine. After this incident we also witnessed a girl almost break her spinal column. No more inflatables.
Here there was a rope swing that Mads loved. She thought it would be a good idea to pretend that she hadn't caught the rope that Ben had thrown to bring her back from the fast, raging river. Ben (and others) went white. Apparently pretending to drown isn't funny whatever country you're in. NEedless to say, Ben worried so everytime Mads wanted to jump in he had to go too. Holding her hand. (we were drunk though.. sorry mums)
A combination of mid-nineties dance music and ancient ice-age mountains was surreal to say the least, but the best
fun we've had so far.
All in all, Vang Vieng was amazing. But definitely ruined by tourism.