Vientiane & Vien Vang, Laos

June 8, 2010 - Vang Vieng, Laos

Laos is hot! Like; really, really hot! And humid too... you take a cold shower and before you've even got your clothes back on you're covered in a thin layer of sweat. The good news is though, it's awesome too!

As soon as we arrived in Vientiane we felt like we were a million miles from China. The place has a sort of laid back air about it a bit like the Caribbean. Apparently the Laos people believe stress is to be avoided at all costs (for some strange religios reasons), so nobody here is falling over themselves to get things done too quickly. All of which is a welcome change from the hustle of big, industrial cities in the middle of China. The landscape is also very different - huge karst mountains, lush green vegitation and the muddy water of the Mekong flowing through it. It's pretty impressive.

We spent a night in Vientiane (the capital) and had a quick scout around the temples in town (via Tuk Tuk), but to be honest, I've been to car boot sales bigger than Vientiane! It's tiny. And cute as it is, the temples are all rebuilds of ones that used to stand there before one of the many invaders came in and burned the place to the ground for the 400'th time. It's quite odd actually - a bit like being on a film set - everything looks epic from a distance, but once you look close up you see it's all made out of plaster! Odd!?

Anyway, We're in Vien Vang at the moment. The place looks like some sort of fantasy world...

...and it's a bit of a mini 'Ko San Road' - like a playground for backpackers! Everywhere you look people are advertising 'Happy Shakes', 'Special Brownies' and 'Space Pizza' (!?).

THE thing to do in this town is tube down the river, stopping off as you go at one (or five) of the many bars along the banks. They literally hook you in like fish, cranking the latest dance music up on their huge speakers and tossing out lines expectantly as you float by :) Each bar has a gimmik, our favorite being a huge slide back into the river - which left us both a bit dazed and confused as we didn't quite realise how high it would throw us! Beers are about 50p, and Jinnie went with Pina-Coladas for 20,000 kip (thats one pound, fifty!). Chicane was playing as we lay in our hammocks, sipping our drinks and planning our return with the Love DJ crew to clean up the entire town :)

We also carefully planned on staying out in the sun just long enough to go a lovely lobster pink (although for the first time in my life, I wasn't the one who came out worst :) Jinnie fried her legs with expert skill ;).

We're off to Luang Prabang in the morning, leaving the party crowd behind us to get our history on...

Alex & Jinnie

 


Pictures

Temple in Vieng Vang
Food offering in temple
Mini Buddha
Marble eye's!
 
 

2 Comments

Carolynn:
June 8, 2010
So you get back onto the river completely wasted? Or at least by bar number three that would be the case... sounds awesome! Please don't die :-) x
Jinnie:
June 8, 2010
Hi Caro!! xx
LOL! Funny you should say that..there's actually warnings at the tube hire place saying: "Do not get too drunk or take drugs on the river - people have died" ?!!! Alex and I are WAY to sensible for any dangerous behavior though.. :) we were back on dry land before we got drunk!! :) Hope you're well..missing you all Extra today! Take care! X
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