Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vang Vieng, Laos

Vang Vieng, Laos.

Let me preface this post by saying that Vang Vieng is GORGEOUS. It's surrounded by massive limestone cliffs, beautiful streams and rivers, and rice paddies as far as the eye can see. There are caves, rock climbing, waterfalls, and, of course, river tubing.  Most of the restaurants in town serve exactly the same thing at exactly the same price, and all the restaurants play either 1) Friends 2) Family Guy or 3) Southpark from 9am until 11pm or midnight.  It's a place that caters to lazy Western tourists, and despite that fact, I actually had a great time!  The natural beauty was amazing and since we were forewarned that it tends to be a party scene, we knew what to expect and what to avoid.
For those who didn't know, Vang Vieng, Laos, gained worldwide notoriety in 2006-2007 when "tubing" became all the rage. Tourists flocked from around SE Asia to flop into inner tubes and float between river-side bars, slides, swings, and parties. General debauchery abounded... until the number of deaths from drunken accidents became too high (around 40?) and the Laos government shut down the major parties, slides, and swings.  Now there's "no" hard alcohol and a much calmer atmosphere. No deaths in the last year, fewer people, and more oversight of people between the riverside stops. It felt kind of like floating down the Truckee River during 4th of July, but without waterguns and inner tubes full of beer. I guess in that sense, it was actually much more civilized... heh...

Plus, as we discovered, there is SO MUCH ELSE to do! We went tubing one day, but the rest of our time was spent biking around the countryside and getting lost down small dirt paths, having to get flat tires repaired with the help of 2 year old mechanics (so impressed!), and having to mime where we wanted to go.  It was a beautiful spot and a lot of fun!

Sidenote - the new camera is working great! Hope you're enjoying the photos, Mom and Dad :)

SABAIDEE!!! (Means HI!!!!)

On the way to the Kang Nyui Waterfall


Little waterfall by the side

On the way to Blue Lagoon

This 2 year old knew how to fix a tire. He gave his dad all the correct tools! Awesome

Cows everywhere

Gorgeous mountains around the valley

Rice paddies

Crazy butterfly-moth-thing

Lawn mower engine + cart


Jumping into the lagoon!

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