Today we were embarking on a Green Discovery Tour from Vientiane to Vang Vieng. Starting off at in the morning and with it already starting to get warm I was so glad to see that we would be in an air conditioned van. Traveling north on the number 13 we arrive at one of the local markets (now wishing I wrote this blog a lot sooner after returning as I can now no longer remember the names of some of these places). Here at the markets we were shown some of the different types of food the Lao people eat. One delicacy I couldn't get past was the deep fried Rat.
Fried Rat Anyone??
Yes! I said Rat! Our guide Noy told us the village people capture the rat in the woods not far from the village. Tasty!! After a good wonder around looking at all the fish, fruits, vegetables and rats, we were then taken to look at a Monks home.
The monk’s home was a very simple wooden house which was very clean and well looked after. From there we spent about an hour or so more traveling to our next stop which was these Buddha's carved into the sides of these large rocks. I can see why they were carved in the location that they were as it was so peaceful. Next we then drove for a really long time through the mountains to our next stop which was a Fishermen’s village. The road to the village was so bendy that I was not feeling the best when we arrived at the village and seeing all the dried fish hanging up really didn't make me feel much better.
Walking through the village and seeing the housing available to the people.
Market about an hour north of Vientianne
I was quite amazed that a lot of the houses were built on stilts on the side of the steep river banks. Looking like a shanty town, I don't think you would get me staying in one of those places. Next we were off the Vang Vieng to check out one of the caves. We arrived at Vang Vieng and were taken to one of the local restaurants for lunch. Eating our lunch we noticed a lot of the restaurants had TV’s with Friends re-runs playing with the all the backpackers laying down watching and having lunch. Now that's my kinda restaurant.
After lunch we went and checked out the Tham Chang (FreezingCave), the biggest cave in Vang Vieng. Arriving at the cave staring up at the stairs, the guide tells us we need to climb up these stairs to get to the cave.
Lao women weaving Lao silk cloth
Thankfully I'd been hitting the gym few months before hand and was up for the challenge of climbing 142 steep stairs. Climbing the stairs was going well except my poor old Dad was struggling, but I was only a little sympathetic because, well he's old and he's my Dad, but he smokes too, so not so much because that’s self inflicted. The view from the top of the stairs was magic and made the trip up the stairs all worth the sweat and tears. Walking into the cave we were so glad it as nice and cool as now it was really hot and we were sweating buckets from our climb.
Our guide tells us this cave has spiritual significance to the locals in Vang Vieng. Located in the cave are places were people can pray and worship Buddha. This cave was quite a large cave to walk through so there was no climbing or ducking which made it easy to explore. After exploring the cave we had the easier task of climbing back down the 142 stairs and luckily we made it down incident free.
After a very long day of traveling from Vientiane to Vang Vieng it was now time to head back to Vientiane and I was hoping I would get motion sickness again as I was so sleepy by this time I was hoping to catch some Z’s.
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