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Journey to the Centre of the Earth ........and other adventures

Vientiane, Laos


For anyone planning to travel from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng by bus, please heed the following advice:
a)Under no circumstances feel it necessary to go out the night before and get blind drunk.
b)Colly would strongly recommend sleeping in a bed the night before and not the toilet floor.
c)Fight the urge to press snooze and try to wake up at least 10 minutes before you have to leave.
d)If you are of a nervous disposition avoid looking out the windows at all times as your driver is likely to be a maniac.
e) If a man with a huge rifle gets on there is no need to kick up a massive fuss as he's there "for your protection".
f) Under normal circumstances we would not suggest this for a long journey, but in this case, it is advisable to scoff all of your food rations before the bus starts as the relentless wiggley worm jerking makes it frustratingly impossible to eat (ice lollies can be purchased along the route)
Other than that, sit back, relax and enjoy!

First day in Vang Vieng, hired mountain bikes, again maximum chaffage due to continuation of water throwing. Trips to some caves proved to be a "999" special waiting to happen. Four young girls armed only with hot pants and flipflops enter the caves with one Laos boy and a mere three head torches, expecting a pleasant stroll. We soon realised we were infact extreme pot-holing! Particularly for Tay, whose flipflop bit the dust half way into the trip, and she was forced to scale the rock barefooted-hardcore. Despite the perils which included deep ravines and a swamp like lagoon, the caves were incredible and we would strongly recommend a visit (except for the safety conscious).

Day was rounded off perfectly lounging in a bamboo beach hut bar which showed immense appreciation for 5ive by playing an entire album.

The next day was spent indulging in the infamous tubing which gives Vang Vieng its name among backpackers. For those unfamiliar with tubing, it involves floating down the Nam Song river in an inflatable tractor Tyre innard, breaking up the 3 km journey with bar stops and rope swings.

Due to it being dry season the tubing was unfortunately not quite as extreme as expected, and involved us basically walking half the 3km journey along the rocky river bed dragging our rings behind us. However, we made up for this by discovering at one particular bar a new found love for Lao whisky, redbull and coke. The highlights of the day included Colly losing her tube after it rushed down the river without her, jumping off rope swings and then comparing ridiculous sunburns due to cloudy weather complacency. Needless to say, the night continued in a similar vein with a shocking amount of our new favourite drink. We meet some new friends (who couldn't miss us due to the glare of our rouged limbs) who had the dubious pleasure of being our neighbours at the hostel, and the object of harrassment for the rest of the night. Matt, Hope you've learnt your lesson that asking a drunk Colly if she has had a henna tattoo done will go down about as well as a 15km Field of jars. Luckily enough, Vang Vieng is its own hangover cure as it is dotted with bars and restuarants, with bed like seating which show Friends reruns from dawn til dusk.

Currently in Vientiane having chosen the extremely sporty method of travel - a day of kayaking. Never having looked sexier on out life jackets and helmets, we risked life and (still slightly rouged) limbs down rapids. Erin and Collys attempt at the rapid was doomed from the start when they collided with the first rock and immediately capsized - "You've Been Framed" gold dust.

permalink written by  Murph, Tay, Colly and Erin on April 17, 2006 from Vientiane, Laos
from the travel blog: The Smug Adventures of Murph, Tay, Colly & Erin
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It can surely only be a matter of time before we get a call from the local authorities asking the UK to retrieve four of its citizens in the interests of ongoing favouraable diplomatic relations.

Keep enjoying and being (a little bit)adventurous. I predict a riot, and I'm not talking Leeds' finest.

Dad G.

permalink written by  Andy Gillham on April 17, 2006

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