Moto rides, Snakes jumping out of trees, and Booming sounds inside caves

Vang Vieng Travel Blog

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Livia and Local Kid
Taking a break from drunken tubing, Livia and I decided to rent a moto and explore some caves north of town. It cost about $3.50 to rent a moto for the day, which is about as much as the petrol cost.

After about half an hour of riding without seeing signs for the caves on the map, we decided to turn down a road with a small sign that said "Amazing Cave." How could we pass that up? We turned off the main paved road onto a rocky dirt road, crossed a bridge, and just kept following the signs. The path got worse and worse, and the mud got deeper and deeper. At one point Livia got off so I could pick my way through a really slick section... and then she fell down in the same mud I was trying to ride through. After countless wheel slides and close-calls, we finally made it to the parking area for the amazing cave, an empty cow pasture.
The kids checking out my sweet ride.
We walked through a bamboo cow fence, gave a few guys a buck each, and walked in the direction that they pointed.

Halfway to the cave entrance, a green snake jumped out of a tree right in front of me. I later found out that those are way, way venomous. I felt like I was stuck in an Indiana Jones movie, and I didn't even have a whip.

Dropping down into the cave, we walked a few hundred feet down a big tube before hitting a river inside the cave. After taking a few quick pictures we decided to head upriver, wading in water up to our thighs at some points. The current was sometimes strong, and we were both concerned that our flip-flops might take the fast way back downriver. After wading upstream maybe a quarter of a mile, we started hearing low, booming noises inside the cave.
The parking lot for the Amazing Cave
What was this, The Temple of Doom? It was impossible to tell where it was coming from, but that's not the kind of noise you want to hear in a river a quarter of a mile inside of a cave. We started heading back, but before exiting we explored the area downsteam of the tube as well. The ceiling was pretty low to the water for about 30 feet, but it opened up into a small chamber filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Pretty cool. We explored a bit more before heading out.

On the way back we heard a familiar booming sound coming from across the valley. A few minutes of searching brought us to a Buddhist temple celebrating a Buddhist holiday (I'm not sure which one) by pounding on a massive drum. Mystery solved.
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Livia and Local Kid
Livia and Local Kid
The kids checking out my sweet rid…
The kids checking out my sweet ri…
The parking lot for the Amazing Ca…
The parking lot for the Amazing C…
Livia on the hike to the cave
Livia on the hike to the cave
The entrance...
The entrance...
Wading upstream
Wading upstream
Aspiring spelunkers...
Aspiring spelunkers...
Livia on dry ground
Livia on dry ground
The biggest bridge of the day
The biggest bridge of the day
Laos, picture-perfect as always
Laos, picture-perfect as always
Vang Vieng
photo by: razorriome