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Bangkok to Vang Vieng

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Its been a crazy few weeks since our last blog. We've left Thailand now and are currently in Vang Vieng, Laos.

We spent 5 nights in Bangkok, staying in a guest house in Sukhumvit. The guest house was run by a crazy expat called Max who would spend hours telling crazy stories about his life as a pilot. The name of the guesthouse was "The Mile High Club" which gives you an idea of what his stories were about! Two of our days in Bangkok were spent trying to sort out a visa for Vietnam, the rest of the time we were either looking at the many temples or having a few beers on Kho San Road. The highlight of our stay here was the Sunday Carvery we had in the Robin Hood pub (really getting into the Thai culture!) We also spent a day looking around the huge weekend market where you could buy anything from fake Ray Bans to Pug Puppies

On the evening of the 24th of January we got the night bus out of Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The bus was supposed to take 12 hours, getting us to Chiang Mai for 9am. It actually only took 7 hours, leaving us in Chiang Mai at 5am with nowhere to stay. Luckily after walking around for an hour or so we found a guest house where we got an English breakfast and sorted out a room. We only spent 2 nights in Chiang Mai but we managed to see yet more temples and have a good night out at a reggae bar.


The next day we got a mini bus to Chiang Khong, a small town on the Thai/ Laos boarder and right on the the Mekong River. We stayed here one night. The next morning we got a lift to the river where we had to get a boat over to get our visa to Laos. Here we got our first taste of how completely unorganized Laos is. Getting the visa was an absolute free for all, with people just shoving their passports through the office window and hoping for the best. Luckily it only took around 45 minutes before we were on our way.
Then we boarded our slow boat, which would take two days to arrive in Luang Prabang. Once on the boat we waited around 3 hours before the boat actually left. That is known here as "Lao time" basically nothing here leaves or arrives anywhere near the time its meant to. The captain literally had to be dragged away from his Beer Lao before we could leave. The views as we cruised down the Mekong were awesome, well worth the wait. That night we had to stay in a small town called Pakbeng which basically just exists to house the people from the boat. Pretty horrible little town really,everyone there is just out to make as much money from the tourists as they can.


The next morning we were back on the boat and away by 10am. We arrived in Luang Prabang at around 6pm. We spent at least an hour walking around town before we found a guest house. Luang Prabang is a beautiful small town on the river. The French influence here is clear in the architecture and the baguette stalls on every corner. We spent 3 nights here and had a great time. On our last day here we did an Elephant trek. One of the best things I've ever done. After spending a while feeding an elephant bananas we rode around on one for about an hour. After that we rode them bare back down to a lake and had a bit of splash around with them. Amazing.
In the afternoon we got a tuk tuk to the Kuang Si Waterfall where we had a swim and a play on a rope swing.


We left Luang Prabang last Tuesday and got a mini bus to Vang Vieng. The bus trip was pretty awful, pot holes everywhere and half the roads not even complete. All this on a winding mountain road. We were glad to get to Vang Vieng safe and sound. For those who don't know Vang Vieng is famous for one thing....tubing. Everyday up to 400 people rent big rubber rings and get a tuk tuk to the top of the river. From there you spend the rest of day floating down the river, stopping off at the many many bars along the way. Its absolutely crazy. We spent 2 days doing this and spent the next 2 days recovering by the pool.


So thats where we are now. We're getting a bus to the capital Vientien tomorrow, spending 3 nights there and then flying to Hanoi on Thursday. Only 42 days to go now!

Posted by ElliotWebb 23:50 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

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