20
Feb
10

I LOVE LAOS! I Love Laos.

I love Laos!

This is my new mantra. In fact, I think I should just get it tattooed someplace on my body. Seriously, Laos is awesome, and this warm and welcoming country is continually surprising me at every turn.

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The four sentences above was how this post began, sixteen days ago. Can you believe it’s taken me sixteen days to write a blog post!? Well, I can, and you would too if you had just spent the last six days in Chiang Mai before coming to Bangkok! Anyway, I’m going to start referring to days by their actual dates, instead of just the days of the week, because the days are quickly becoming a blur, especially when it takes me more than a week to post on the activities of late.

Nam Song River in Vang Vieng

Anyway, I think it’s about time I continued the story of our trip through Laos. When I left off, it was February 4, and the group (still on tour at this point) had just arrived in Vang Vieng, which is party town of Laos. We had free time in the afternoon, and then a group dinner at one of the many movie bars in town. Many people spend weeks in Vang Vieng because of the relaxed atmosphere and it was really nice to be able to watch a movie after dinner and hang out with some real backpackers.

February 5 was a big day, as we had our tubing trip booked! Tubing down the Nam Song River is an institution in Vang Vieng, and we were all super excited for our excursion. We began by packing into a truck and picking up our inner tubes (piled 16 high on the roof!) on the way to the drop off. The Nam Song is unique because it is quite possibly the only river in the world lined with tens of bamboo bars featuring zip lines, swings, and slides over the water. Look out below!!

Me with my bucket and my tag

We had three guides with us, who were there to look out for us in case of emergency. What emergency, you ask, can possibly happen on a lazyriver ride with 16 people!? Well, seeing as each bar has it’s own “happy” menu, consisting of teas and shakes made of mushrooms, hash, and opium, as well as various “pastries”, it goes without saying that the guides were a comfort to have around! Don’t worry, parental units, our guides were trained in CPR and First Aid (yeah right) and wrote the name of their tour company on each of our wrists, so in case of any of us getting lost, the unfortunate soul who happened to find us would know where to return us. HAHA!!

The first bar we stopped at had a swing and a mud volleyball court. After grabbing a bucket of Malibu and Coke at only $8 a pop (7 shots – what a steal!) we headed to the swing and for a game of mud volleyball, before moving on to our next bar. Here’s where things got ugly.

Me getting ready for the swing

About ten metres down the river I spotted a sign: “Super Happy Brownies”. Well. I’m super. I like being happy. I love brownies! What a match! It goes without saying I had to have one. I hopped off my tube, (“Alexis, are you ACTUALLY going to get off of your tube and get one of those brownies!?!”), grabbed a brownie ($5) and jumped back on my tube, brownie and all. I had that entire piece of chocolate-hashy goodness downed by the time we reached the next bar. At this bar, there was a zip line and a slide. I tried the zip line twice, and watched as my friends tried the slide – with disastrous results. The slide was so slippery that it literally caused those riding it to be shot out in the air, about ten metres over the water, and landing with a hard splash on whatever part of their body was unfortunate enough to hit the water first. There were quite a few bruised thighs when we finally left the bar after lunch, and even one ripped pair of shorts! HA HA!

Tubing! (You can see the offending slide in the background)

It took us a while to get from the second bar to the third bar, I don’t want to hazard a guess as to how long, as in my brownie-induced cloud of happiness I had absolutely no concept of time. An hour? Maybe two? Anyway, by the time we got  to the last bar (literally, the last bar on the river, if you don’t count the bar that’s actually CALLED Last Bar – HaHa, we’re onto you!) the sun was already behind the trees, and we had already consumed 7 mushroom shakes (I won’t say who :), 1 hash brownie (you all know who ;), two opium teas, and countless buckets of liquor.

That evening, we were all pretty much exhausted and partied out, so it was a pretty early night. A bunch of us had booked our first activities that were not going to be performed as one huge group, so we hit the sack to be well rested for the day ahead.

Wow! I look SMALL! I think this wall looks bigger than it actually was...

As I mentioned before, Vang Vieng is a playground for adventure seekers as well as being a party town. The whole place is asleep until about noon, then people start coming out to start their day of tubing, or hiking, or rock climbing, or bike riding. My chosen activity for the morning of February 6 was rock climbing some of the limestone karsts surrounding Vang Vieng. I went rock climbing last year and enjoyed it, so I thought I would try a half-day course to see if I want to take a full-day course in Krabi. I LOVED it! The climbs were made for beginners, but we did a couple challenging climbs, and it felt really good to be working up a sweat, while using my brain and my muscles. I think it’s looking good for Krabi!

During the afternoon I had a lazy day, hanging out in an open-air hut by the river with friends, writing postcards, and eating mango sticky rice. After dinner it was time to pack up and head to bed before our long drive to Luang Prabang on February 7.

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3 Responses to “I LOVE LAOS! I Love Laos.”


  1. 1 Whitney
    February 23, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    wow 8$ for buckets of liquor.. this is my kinda place

  2. 2 ken
    March 11, 2010 at 2:23 AM

    Hi Alexis!

    Keep on travelling, have a good time and enjoy life
    while you’re still young.

    I was in Vang Vieng too last year and loved it.

    Ken

  3. September 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.
    Many thanks


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