Vang Vieng

They say there is something in the water over here, and I believe them. It seemed as though once I got to Vang Vieng, some outer spirit invaded my body, turning me into a character one would commonly describe as ‘action woman’. Rope swings, rock climbing, partying and hot air ballooning. I wanted to give everything I came across a go. And I did.

After the rocky (or rather bouncy) start to our Vang Vieng experience, the blue lagoon was exactly what the doctor prescribed. Stunning blue water, individual bamboo huts, rope swings, volley ball, and a game of boules, the blue lagoon was magic. We spent hours just being there, soaking up the sun and reading.

After the weather began to turn sour, we headed back to our hostel – Pan’s Place – where I treated myself to a well deserved ‘Parmy’. Followed by some bargain buys of gin and juice ($12 bottles of Gordans gin, mum would be in heaven), we hit the streets. My eyes we’re drawn to the club with the guys fire-twirling out the front, clearly the classiest of establishments, where we found the parties of three contiki tours. We got to talking to two guys, who used one of the most interesting pick-up moves I’ve seen yet, and found out that we’d be with them for New Years. What forward planning. After Suzie booted in the alley way, we decided to call it a night.

Unfortunately the weather hadn’t cleared up by the morning so tubing had to be called off. We decided to go rock climbing instead because we’re just so adventurous. And it was incredible. Our guide Aaron, a 19 year old Canadian who had been climbing for just three days, took us up the cliff. He was an absolute sweetheart and made the whole trip twice as fun. The view from the top was spectacular, and as a beginner, the feeling of reaching the top of the climb was a huge accomplishment.

We finished off our time in Vang Vieng with a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. As you do. Another early rise, but well worth it! Being bundled out to a rice field, watching a group of ten or so men inflate the balloon, and then floating high above the cliffs and rivers and houses that make Vang Vieng, while watching the sun rise was absolutely awesome. Something I don’t think I will ever be able to afford in any other circumstance, and another thing to tick of my bucket list. At this rate, I’ll be able to die happy by the end of my trip!

Next, off to the capital Vientiane before heading to Cambodia! A few days of horrific travel up ahead – 40 hour train trips and bumpy bus rides…the pleasures of travelling on a backpacker budget.

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