Vang Vieng – Laos

The journey to Vang Vieng, form Luang prabang was a roughly 6 hour mini-bus journey from hell. We suspect the driver was a Fast and Furious fan, as he was speeding all the way there, and it was as if he was purposefully trying to ‘drift’ around the corners of the the very windy mountain pass.
It was so bad, that we had to stop a number of times so that some of the car sick passengers could vomit on the side of the road.

When we finally arrived in Vang Vieng, we checked into our accommodation (Kianethong guest house). The town is so small that you can easily walk to all the restaurants, bars, and view points.

We went to the Smile bar, which was right on the rivers edge, where we could buy a drink and chill in one of their many hammocks, while watching the kayaks and tubes go by.

We did a day tour which included walking through a local village and rice fields, to get to the Elephant Cave. From there, we did tubing through a cave, this entails sitting in a tube in the river, and pulling yourself through a cave by a rope. We spent some time swimming in the river, and walked accross the wall of a small dam waterfall.

We also went kayaking down the Nam Song river, which included some small white water rapids, which was exciting. We ended off the tour with a drive to the Blue Lagoon, where we walked up to the Pou Kham cave. This was very tiring in the heat, and it was lovely to cool off in the blue lagoon before we returned back.

We discovered a little hidden gem, where we were the only foreigners. A nice picnic area, with a beautiful blue river that was refreshingly cool to swim in. There was a short hike from there to the Tham Chang cave, which was a massive cave with many chambers. To get to this river and cave, we had to cross a suspension bridge that looked like a mini version of the Golden Gate bridge. On the way to the area, we passed many trees and bushes that were covered in butterflies of all different colours. It was like a natural version of Butterfly World that we have in Cape Town, but with more variety and more butterflies.

The area is very rural, so it was common to see cows walking in the street, and there was a lot of dirt roads. When it rained, there was a lot of mud pools everywhere.