Vang Vieng, the Glory Days are Over

Vang Vieng 15th – 21st November

On the bus to Vang Vieng we met Henry and Sam, two rock climbers from the UK. On the bus (4 hours) i mentioned to jack I thought I was getting sick. I spent the next 4 days in bed watching TV ( HBO), ate two cans of pringles and a bread roll for the entire time. I’m almost certain it was caused by the full moon cafe breakfast.

When I was better, Jack, Henry and I went to the Blue Lagoon. Its quite impressive. The water is warm, really clear and teeming with fish. There is a tree to climb and jump out of into the water. We also checked out a cave up the steep hill nearby.

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Blue Lagoon daybeds

Blue Lagoon daybeds

Very steep path to the cave

Very steep path to the cave

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Buddha shrine in the cave

Buddha shrine in the cave

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat night jack showed me the Irish bar where he had been hanging out while I was sick in bed. We met Esther and Kelly from Holland, Jess from the US, Darryl from Canada and his two friends from Holland and the US. We all arranged to go tubing the next day together. After a lot of beers and with the Curfew forcing the closure of the pub, jack and I called it a night. On the walk home we ran into max aka ‘Facebook’ (he got this nickname because his sister used to work for Facebook accepting or denying name change requests before it became automatic). We invited max tubing and met him and everyone else the next day.

Tubing in Vang Vieng was one of the biggest drawcards for us when we decided to go to Laos. It used to include bars lining the riverside, you would float down to each one, and it was a huge party. After so many deaths from drowning and jumping off swings into shallow water the Laos government tore all the bars and swings down, one month before we got there. As a result, our tubing experience was really chilled out. Everyone brought a bottle of cheap whiskey along and we floated downstream. No wonder people died, there were sharp rocks submerged just below the surface.

Tubing launch point

Tubing launch point

Left to right: Darryl, Max, Kelly, Esther, Jess, Jenny, Jack, Gabrielle, Me

Left to right: Darryl, Max, Kelly, Esther, Jess, Jenny, Jack, Gabrielle, Me

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Thoughts on Vang Vieng:

  • The blue lagoon is nice but the tubing wasn’t so good after all the bars had been shut down.
  • It’s cheap, I think we paid $2.50 each for a 2 bed private room with ensuite. When we booked into the guesthouse they told us they had hot showers. True, but they only had hot water. Between turning the hot water on (starting off cold) and getting too hot there was a one minute window. Bad luck if you are having the second shower.
  • Worth visiting if tubing picks up again, or to break up the trip between Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
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6 responses to “Vang Vieng, the Glory Days are Over

    • I think it may pick up again, If it hasn’t already. I was there just after the ASEM Summit in Vientiane. I think the government was trying to clean it up for that, now that it’s finished who knows what will happen with the tubing

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