on the way to VangVieng
With a short stopover in Luang Prabang
I headed down to Vang Vieng
, a town notoriously known by the world's, mainly teenage, backpackers...The journey took 6hours by a minivan and it was the crazest journey of my life as our driver turned out to be a suicide driver who didn't know how to drive and was overtaking other cars in most unthinkable situations....Because I was seating on a front seat next to him, I had to watch the road instead of the scenery we were passing by. After a while I couldn't help myself and started to argue with him: "don't overtake, keep to the right, slow down, etc."....and when other passengers noticed how the driver was driving they too started to shout at him.
students cycling and protecting themselves from the sunshine...Imagine, in the wintertime :-)
I think his IQ was maybe 50, because he couldn't understand what all passangers were saying to him and kept driving his way. Thanks God that we survived the journey and didn't crash to anything (he like to press a horn as if a solution to every traffic problem) and safely made it to Vang Vieng. To be honest, my expectation of Vang Vieng was extremally low and maybe because of that it was not that bad at the end....The advantage of the place was cheap accomodation and food (i.e.40.000kip or 3.5eur for a room with bathroom, or 20.000kip for a dorm bed) and a very nice scenery with limestone mountains, river, caves and lagoonas to explore (on bike, motorcycle, kayak, raft and of course tubing)... The disadventage: too many foreign teenagers boozing and smoking whatever is at hand, watching all day Friends, Simpsons or South Park in TV bars - well, nothing against it (everyone likes something different) but from a traveler's point of view there's nothing from a real Laos......The place was really surreal, for example, once I went to a river (at the point being close to the Organic farm) and found a wonderful contrast.....100m to the right was a farmer quietly and peacefully milking his cow, 100m to the left you could see tens of teenagers drinking beers, jumping to the river or dancing in bikinis while listening to the sounds of techno-music....:-)