Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vang Vieng, Laos 1 - 3 Nov 2012

From Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng was just 6 hours, the shortest road journey for us so far. 

Vang Vieng is a tourist oriented town, with guest houses, hotels, restaurant, bar, travel agent and cafes lined the streets. This place as written on any website or travel book is famous for tubing and kayaking plus mushroom shakes, loud music and loads of drunken tourist. But we were here for the beautiful limestone carve mountains and the laid back countryside.

Bountang Hotel
I didn't research much about this place as it was not part of our trip itinerary. We have got a free day after Phonsavanh and Luang Prabang so we decided to make a pit stop here while making  our back to Vientiane. Last minute preparation, I just checked out the map and find out roughly where we should stay. When we arrived at the bus terminal, we decided to walk to town while looking for a nice place to stay. It was about 20 minutes walk, and we found a pretty awesome place by the riverside road(no road name) walked straight to town from bus station and keep right, take the first right turn after the huge temple. As there weren't many tourist around, we were able to bargain and get the best room (top floor with full height sliding window) facing the limestone mountain. The room was the cheapest we've got for the whole trip yet the BEST. We stood and stared from our balcony for the longest time, the view was just breath-taking. We had yet another stunning sunset just from our balcony.

After the sunset, we had a stroll and dinner in town. The famous FRIENDS sitcoms were playing in a few bars/restaurant. We picked one that was playing Gang Nam Style music, with a few groups of foreigners but not the party type. I was expecting something worst than this but it was pretty quiet. Not sure if it was due to the low season or the recent news of the Government closing down bars by the river. Anyway this works for us! :-)

"The early bird catches the worm" My brother Thomas who is awaken everyday at 6am spotted a hot air balloon flying by. It was super cool! We could hear the sound of the flaming fire firing up in the balloon. The ride take about 40 minutes at the price of US$70. There is only one company that does this in the entire Laos. (

After breakfast, we stroll around Saysong Island. A little island size of a football field that formed in the Nam Song river connected to the main land with 2 wooden bridge. The island is filled with chalets and guest houses but the scenery around it was nice to photographed. 

We continued to the paddy fields on the north of the town, taking tons of photographs. November is the end of harvesting season, most of the paddy are ready, yellow or gold in color. That makes a beautiful view with the background of the limestone mountain. The heat was killing us, by noon we got back to the hotel to chill out.

After 2 hours rest, we now headed to the south. This time across the Nam Song river. There were many kids playing by the river, some were fish hunting with a diving mask, some were  jumping off from wooden boat, some were catching fish or shrimp with a net, some were playing in the mud and some were floating on a tube. The kids were adorable. They reminds me of my childhood time. We were also playing in streams, catching fish or just out and about in the afternoon. 

We finished the day with another amazing sunset and a eventful day. This little town has it's charm that captured my heart. :-)

The next day we took the earliest minibus back to the capital city-Vientiane.

Bountang Hotel ( - 110,000kip (Tripple) with attached bathroom, aircon, wifi, coffee and water refill.

Toll fees to cross the bridge (2 way) - 4,000kip each

Minibus to Vientiane - 40,000kip each incl pick up

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