Biking to a cave

Vang Vieng Travel Blog

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OK so I am going to have a whinge because I am not 22 anymore.....Arriving in Vang Vieng was like going to a typical SE Asian town that has become over populated with tourists. The street that is the town is restaurant after bar after restaurant after guesthouse, and the locals are easily outnumbered by tourists. Most of the tourists here are the 18-24 year old Westerners, mainly Brits, Irish and Aussies, hell-bent on drinking themselves into comas every night on cheap buckets of booze. That's right, buckets, not glasses, but buckets. At about 6pm every day, tuk-tuks make they way back to town full of completely hammered travellers who have been tubing for the afternoon (basically floating down the river in an inner tube, stopping at the makeshift bars along the way to get as wasted or stoned (or both) as possible).

Unfortunately, they seem to forget they are in Laos and walk around the street shouting and singing, swinging a bottle of beer, barely dressed.

All very good for a laugh but it does get a bit roudy and rather depressing to have so many travellers in one small place trying to drink as much as they can. Or take as many drugs as they can. Don't think anyone is that fussed which. Most of the bars/restaurants in town play films all day and in the evenings, and many of the bars play endless re-runs of Friends. So as you walk along the street, it gets a bit confusing as you can hear several different episodes of Friends at once. Have to admit that we did stretch out on the cushions and watch a few of our old favourites with a drink a few times, but when in Rome.

...

We decided to skip the tubing frenzy that everyone comes to Vang Vieng for. Instead we hired a push bike each and peddled a few K's along a dirt track through fields to a cave. The bike ride was fantastic. We rode through farmers fields surrounded in stunning mountains with the heat haze cast over them. We peddled across a bridge made from reeds and bamboo (!) and found lots of kids playing in the river and having a great time with a rope swing. We peddled down the track leading to the cave and as we did, we 'high-fived' some kids and one of them jumped on the back of Simon's bike! The kids thought it was hilarious and ran after us, laughing all the way. Once at the cave, a group of locals joined us and asked us if they could come with us into the cave and take photos of us, to promote the cave in town.

 We made or way through a short cave into an opening and then into the main cave. I didn't go far in as it was rather difficult to walk in the dark on slippery jagged rocks in flip flops but Simon went in with the group to explore the cave.

We then made our way back along the track on our bikes stopping to take a lot of pics of the beautiful scenery. Again we were pleasantly greeted by the friendly locals we passed by.

Vang Vieng is a beautiful spot and definately worth a stop on the way to/from Luang Probang if you can handle the crowds and noise. Or just join in like most people do! Word of advice - book your onward bus ticket at the station as it is cheaper than booking it in town. A tuk tuk to the bus station from town should be 5000kip each or you can walk/bike the 2km.

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Vang Vieng
photo by: razorriome