Our trip from Vientiane to Vang Vieng was like a Speed bus chase: taking corners on two wheels and spraying gravel in our wake… through some of the most green/blue country we’ve seen in a while.
Vang Vieng is notorious in the travel world for parties, drugs, alcohol and tubing. We saw backpackers on all continents wearing their “tubing the Vang Vieng” tanks. In doing so, we knew they were
irresponsible tough because the number of accidents grew so large a few years back that much of the “fun” was shut down. Not a problem for us, but a huge disappointment for travelers looking to black out/barf/injure themselves tubing down the mighty river.
We enjoyed a sunny day on the river, wore Chacos (NOT cool shoes), applied sunscreen like our skin was thirsty and made it down the river without losing our minds or our lunch. The scenery was worth the multi-cultural conversations we eavesdropped including arguments requiring Avril Lavigne to stay in Canada and disagreements abouthe total number of people who actually inhabit Australia.
Beforehand, I had encouraged Joshua to go rock climbing, another famous activity in the area. He spent the morning being laughed at by the belayers for not drinking enough beer or eating enough burgers. They were legitimately concerned about his health…after seeing the photos they took of him, I understand why.
We broke our “no beef for 4 months” fast at an incredible French restaurant called Le Cafe de Paris with a decadent meal of beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, salad and wine. We met three guys on a man-cation/30th bday celebration that were filling up after three consecutive days of tubing. At least they had picked the right place to grub. I didn’t even think twice about making the plunge back into full-fledged carnivore…maybe I didn’t like the Indian cows as much as I thought.
Vang Vieng is special despite (or because of) its reputation. Hungover tubers waste the afternoon away watching Friends episodes on big screens at all the outdoor restaurants (don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen every one), fill themselves with banana pancakes/smoothies and chicken sandwiches and spend most of every day preparing for/recovering from the 4km tube adventure which offers a great way to see Lao’s landscape.