Vang Vieng Laos
Luang Prabang to Vientiane via Vang Vieng……Our next stop on our journey through Laos was an overnight pit stop at Vang Vieng on our way to Vientiane. We boarded the “VIP express” bus to be handed a bottle of water and a travel sick bag…hmmm hope this was not a sign of things to come! I would highly recommend anyone taking this bus take travel sick pills before setting off.
LPB is surrounded by high mountains and it has only been a few years since the road has been sealed, despite the new shiney sealed road the trip over the mountains is still very slow, steep and extremely windy. We encountered a number of landslides and while almost brand new the tarmac has been washed away in a number of places. In saying that though it is an incredibly stunning route as the bus labours up one mountain and down the other side only to climb the next mountain.
The trip takes you past numerous tiny villages perched on the side of the cliffs with villages selling their produce – this time of year it’s gourds and a fruit the looks like a huge orange but tastes like not very much. As the bus come down the last mountain it enters a valley with amazing limestone karsts surrounded by rice paddies. This is the landscape that surrounds Vang Vieng.
For many years V.V was a party town with a large drug (opium / meth) party scene and a number of extreme sports. Over the last few years a number of deaths have occurred as stoned party goers swing from zip lines into the river and break their necks – with the closest major medical help being 6 hours away in Thailand the chances of surviving a broken neck are slim…(I’m told they carted the injured off in a tuk tuk!)
Anyway in 2012 the Laos government cracked down on the illegal bars and drugs trade which has effectively stopped the never ending rave parties and V.V has gone back to being a normal town with great outdoor activities such as canoeing, trekking etc. Apparently the locals are happy that there is no longer half naked people wandering the streets…
We stayed at the Inthira, one of the four boutique hotels the group has across Laos and it was great. We ate by the river at Inthiras sister hotel the Ban Sabai who served up reasonable food in a gorgeous location.
From V.V to Vientiane we caught a mini bus through torrential monsoon rain and flooded roads, I guess that’s what happens when you travel in the wet season!
For Information on Travelling In Laos Read Our Laos Travel Guides