Getting to Vang Vieng meant going up & over some mountains until we arrived in limestone karst scenery - truly stunning!
On the way we stopped at a rest point with a loo with a view. The squatties didn't have any windows - just open sided to the valley and view after.
After we got to Vang Vieng we had to go through the official rite of passage for the town and go tubing. This requires renting an inner tube, getting a tuk tuk up the river and drifting down it stopping off at bars as you go. The multitude of bars and swings and zip lines meant that lots of people used to die here - so the government closed down most bars and removed the swings and zip lines. Having almost crashed into rocks under the surface of the water in my tube I can see how things would go wrong...
But for us it was all fine - until Cat and I got into some mud wrestling - unfortunately there were rocks under the mud and we both got grazes - ouch!
That evening was a group dinner with the Stray Asia crew and for those that could handle drinking for that long - dancing! However I couldn't so to bed it was.
The following day whilst some of the girls chilled out their hangovers, V, Kitty, Morag and I cycled out of town to the organic mulberry farm. Mr T - the owner and manager took us on a tour around, showing us the different mulberry bushes (for fruit or for feeding the silk worms - not something they focus on anymore), the goats, the pigs, the guinea pigs, the mud brick houses and then finally we got to try some mulberry leaves tempura, mulberry green tea and goats cheese!
Day 3 in Vang Vieng we decided to cycle out of town to the blue lagoon. This is situated by a cave about 7km along the dirt track out of town.
To get to the track you have to pay a toll to cross the bamboo bridges and when they say dirt track they mean track with a lot of stones... Even on a mountain bike it felt like being on a bucking bronco!
But it was worth it for a dip/swing/jump into the lagoon!
Whilst the girls went tubing on the final day V and I had a chilled morning (me nursing my illness with a tonne of paracetamol and strepsils - it's amazing what the pharmacies stock over here!) and then took a tuk tuk to the second bar to hang out with the girls for a few hours, grab some lunch and body paint before heading back to get ready for dinner.
That's my leg at the bottom - Cameo was body painter extraordinaire!
Our final dinner was pies at Gary's Irish bar - not exactly Lao!