Vang Vieng (Revisited)

VV has a lot to live up to.

There are 3 F’s to this place; Falang (Laos word for tourists), Family Guy & Friends – they play 24h per day on a loop in every single bar. No escape. Some people may look down on this, but then to be honest we wouldn’t be friends and you wouldn’t be reading my blog. So actually, ill add FUN to the list too. If you are in South East Asia for NYE it’s either here or Thailand Full Moon Party as ‘The’ place to be. Here’s is obvs the cooler option for those that don’t want to be surrounded by 35,000 other tourists on a beach.

Blue Lagoon

So first the Blue Lagoon, Aka a few days spare to scout for NYE friends (i’ve lost Lindsey and Claire to the south, boo).

This is the epitome of how randomly perfect a day can be. I wake up, I hire a bike, I ride 7km to an Organic Mulberry farm all before 9am. I get talking to some WWOOF volunteer s over breakfast of Mulberry pancakes & honey. Having never actually tasked a mulberry it’s quite trek for such a long shot, but turns out they are yum, if not exactly like blueberries/cranberries. The farm also dabbles in do-gooding, by teaching organic sustainable farming to the local community. They run a bar/cafe to raise money, and encourage locals to own/develop their own produce. Which is where the goats come in. I’m quite chatty and ask a few questions about how you get involved, so Volunteer Guy – sensing he has an audience being the eco warrior type – takes me on a full tour which involves me in a stall petting a nanny goat. I managed to stop him short of teaching me how to milk it.

The second half of the day was spent ricocheting off a BMX knock-off, along 14 MORE km of dirt track, with dust cycloning around my face. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was Phu Kham Cave (the blue lagoon.) And worth it it was. The hidden spot included a giant old tree and rope swings. After 20km on a bike in one day, i’m straight in there before you can say spinal injury. Some ozzy boys up the ante by jumping about 9 meters from the top branches, belly flopping with true force. I deem them too rowdy for my auditions for NYE friends. Instead I opt for the much more lovely, Charlie (UK) Moritz (Germany) and Juuso (Finland).


So, last time I wrote that tubing in Vang Vieng was THE most fun you can have on a river, and to be honest this time was on par. Bracelets, body paint, Lao Lao whisky buckets, zipwires – you know the drill. Despite saying I wasn’t going to jump of anything high, mob mentality takes over and I find myself sliding with the best of them. The highlight was seeing the same 80 lady in ‘puppy bar’ bar rocking out to David Guetta and pouring boys free shots. I want to be exactly her in 50yrs. Actually she was second only to my all time favorites; mud tug of war/mud volleyball. Since it was dry season we spent about half an hour watering the pitch and cultivating the swamp, but it was worth it for 8 of us to play the dirtiest homage to Top Gun you have ever seen. Juuso took it slightly OTT by rugby tackling me and nearly knocking me out cold. Face down in mud is not a great way to go. As always one of the nicest parts of the day was the long hour downstream back to base, three of us hooked together just floating with the current, sun glaring in between the limestone cliffs. Just beautiful. Silly children that we are we arrived back at dusk, too late for our deposit, but you can’t put a price on fun. Midnight itself was spent at the infamous Q bar with Moritz and I hustling Lao guys at pool, with no 8 ball, then over at Smile bar until the early hours….

Hot air ballooning

….which, like all New Year days from around the world was spent with a killer hangover. Made extra worse with the M150 come down (fake Red Bull with debatable ingredients.) You might say that dangling from the skies in a wicker basket powered only by gas/flames was slightly ambitious then. But i’d wanted to hot air balloon ever since Bagan in Burma. For $70 USD you can take an hour’s flight over Vang Vieng, just in time for sunset. The whole thing was actually quite peaceful/smooth. Rather than describe i’ll let you look at the ten thousand pics I took on FB. I’d recommend it for sure, except the next morning took the edge off. I walked down the hill at 7am to see a crowd of locals gossiping around the lookout point, staring at the same yellow balloon I was in only 14h before, crash landed in the river! One lady smiled and seemed to suggest this happened a lot. The pilot seemed unperturbed and after 5 mins of re-lighting it, off they sailed again. Timing is everything.

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Connecting to %s : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

January 2012

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