Around the World Take Two
About Me (1)
One Trip Completed! (2)
Peace Boat X 2 (2)
Tsunami ALERT! (1)
* Where the hell has Anna been?
* On the Boat Again!
* Cambodian Memories!
* I AM FINE!!!!
* Shop till you drop! Or hopefully not!
* Hold on tight!
* Just walk slowly!
* Christmas in Halong Bay
* Vang Vieng to Vientiane
* The Back of the Boat
* The Tail End in the North
* Ahhh! Trekking in the Jungle!
* Loi Kathong Festival
* Where has all the spicy food and coconut cakes gone?
* Thanksgiving...Thai Style
* Damnoen Saduk
December 18, 2004
Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Left Luang Prabang the other day...and quite sad too because I left my travel partner, roommate from the Peace Boat, and good friend Nicola! And it was my birthday...and hers in two more days. But at any rate I took a small van down to Vang Vieng.
The van ride took about 7 hours...supposed to take about 5 but oh well. Spent my birthday on a bus all day. Looking out at some beautiful scenery and mountains...trying to look past the clear cut logging and complete devestation of the forests in the area...but it was so apparent everywhere one could not over look it or look past it. Also saw tons of children working hard in the mountains carrying wood, drying grasses and then beating the grasses against rocks, chopping wood etc, all when they should have been at school. To say the least the towns we drove through were extremely poor.
Arrived in Van Vieng and didn't do too much that night, just sat on the river in a bamboo hut actually over the river and drank a beer Lao. That was it.
However the next day was nice. I spent the day floating down the river in an intertube, gazing up at the karst mountains that surrounded us! That was fun. The weather was perfect, and the water wasn't too cold. Along the river there were tons of pit stops to stop at to have a beer or jump off the rocks or make shift bamboo diving boards...all of which were scary, so I opted just to float in my intertube sober for the day. The only bad side effect was my horribly sunburnt lip that I got! It still hurts! I lost my chapstick and finding more here in Laos with sunscreen that isn't 10 years old and totally dried up has been next to impossible!
The following day I signed up to kayak down the river to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. However it wasn't really kayaking there, but driving for two hours to get there, then kayaking for an hour, then driving another 2 hours to get to the city. So it was just a way to break up a long bus drive! Which was fine! However the kayaking company was less than sketchy! They didn't have enough life jackets for everyone, nor helmets, nor waterproof bags (don't worry though mom, I had both a life jacket and a helmet!) I partnered up with a Canadian guy, since we had to have two people to a kayak. Unfortunatley there weren't so many rapids. But for the one major rapid we had to go through, we all got out and climbed on the rocks over looking it to get instructions before we attempted to go through it. The guide said that everyone flips out of their kayak here, well at least 80% do. However, me and my partner were the only ones to successfully navigate the rapids without falling out! Yes! Success! It was a fun day spent on the water...and an alternative way to travel down to Vientiane!
Posted by annawojo on December 18, 2004 12:29 PM
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