We only stayed one day in Vientiane but for us it was enough to see most sights the city has to offer. As we got told hopping on a bike is the best way to explore the city we didn't mind all the Tuk-Tuks and taxis and hopped on a bike for the first time in a long while. On our tour we discovered some temples and a huge beton field where the locals do all kinds of sports e.g outdoor fitness courses, soccer, badminton and much more. Exhausted from our tour we had dinner in a restaurant that supports disadvantaged kids. The food was amazing and we can only highly recommend this place.
The next day we left for Cambodia already.
Someone seems to be happy to ride a bike again...
Masses of people doing sport publicly in front of the palace.
The bus ride to Vang Vieng was longer and harder than expected an assured us even more why we prefer flights over long bus trips. It's not only because the roads from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng are windy - no - it is also due to the mad driving skills of bus drivers which made it hard not getting motion sick.
But after 7,5 hours the final destination was reached and the adventure could start. Exhausted from the bus ride we only managed to plan the next day and had dinner with two girls we just met. The night turned out to be shorted than planned because the lovely staff of our hostel started to clean the whole place at 8am! But fu** it, we wanted to go tubing anyways.
What followed was absolute madness. We went with the girls we met yesterday night and rented some tubes. The tuk-tuk took us 3 km up-river where everyone started. We hopped in our tubes, just to go straight for the first bar (they throw bottles filled with sand and ropes attached at you - so they can actually pull you out of the water)
the next thing we remember is that we nearly missed the last stop and would have gone into the dark jungle (it was already night...) if it wasn't for a local that got us out of the water (thanks again!). The evening ended by us going to some bars and clubs with all of our new friends.
The next day and the bus right to Vientiane was horrible. Luckily, we were well prepared and had some Vomex on board 😛
The city of Vang Vieng (the one and only normal picture we have of this place)
Now looking at it this party seems weird - but we had an amazing time!
The girls we met the day before
On our way from our 1st stop!
Already is in a good mood....
Someone else is in a better mood...
The peninsula is a UNESCO protected area with 33 temples. What makes the city so special is the mix of charming temples and chic old french colonial buildings. While walking down the small and cute streets there is no way of resisting to do some temple hopping. At every turn a new temple shows up and most of them are free of charge. But be aware always cover your shoulder and knees! The old quarter on the peninsula which is bounded by the Mekong and Nam Khan River is the place were most sights can be found and it invites you for just strolling around.
Our guesthouse was right at the river-front with a nice restaurant where we had a sun downer before dining at the night market. In the morning french flair is in the air: You find freshly baked croissant and many french cafes all around the place and it's impossible to leave the place without having a good cup of coffee and croissant. Our favorite cafe was a bakery called "Le Bonneton" in the Main Street.
The next two days we not only explored the old quarter but also did a Mekong River tour, visited to the famous Kuang Si Waterfall and the Pak Ou cave. Especially, the waterfall was great. After seeing more than a dozen waterfalls it's hard to impress us but the menthol blue Kuang Si waterfall with its many cascades managed to do so. By accident we found an amazing swimming spot without anyone else. Ok, we had to risk our lives by climbing up in one of the sidearms but it was worth it 😉 Contrary to the waterfalls the river cruise is nice but the cave visit is just a waste of time and money.
Every day after sightseeing our batteries needed to be reloaded. Is there a better way to do so than with a a foot, back, neck and shoulder massage for only a few dollars? We enjoyed quite some relaxing massages in one of the several spas. One of our visits was very weird though: Evas masseuse must have had some stomach issues as she burped so hard that walls vibrate. At the same occasion Niels masseuse asked him if he likes her and told him that he is a very handsome man (hope this wasn't going into the direction that we thought) - this was especially disturbing as Eva was laying next to me....
It would have had been very easy to spent more time in this lovely city but for us it was time to move on after only 3 days.
View over Luang Prabang
The entrance to the temple cave - the only thing we wouldn't high recommend doing around here..
At the beginning of our climb...
Beautiful pool terraces
Climbing to our secret spot!
View from our secret spot - including someones foot...
The owner of the foot... being very happy that she did the climb!
Some impressions from the "city"
One of the many restaurants directly at the river - all of which we visited were amazing
Our accommodation was absolutely nice. Staff was very friendly and helpful
Inside one of the many temples we saw this... very special atmosphere...