Hello my dear readers 🙂
Hope you are well and your weekend is going fantastic!
In today’s post I want to tell you a bit about my last trip to Asia. It has only been two months since I got back home but I want so desperately to go back! Travelling is addictive and it always leaves you wanting more!
My jaw dropped as soon as we got off the bus at the main bus station in Vang Vieng. I can honestly say that this town is situated in the most picturesque location I have ever visited! It’s natural beauty is absolutely breath-taking. The population of Vang Vieng is 25 000 people.
Located on Nam Song river and surrounded by karst hills, Vang Vieng is a backpacker-oriented town. It is dotted with guest houses, restaurants and cafes (many of them showing episodes of friends on TV). The whole town has got a very relaxed feel to it.
The list below is the activities we did during our short stay. Some of them are things I had never done before and wanted to do to get out of my comfort zone.
Air balloon ride
Hot air balloon was the most exhilarating and the most expensive of all activities ($80 p.p.) even though Laos is said to be one of the cheapest places on earth to do it.
There were two times we could take the journey: either 6 am or 5 pm.We got picked up from our guest house at around 5 pm and boarded the balloon just after the sunset. As soon as we were high above the hills I heard my friend saying ‘Wow, this country is truly stunning’. The whole journey lasted around 40 mins.
On the same day that we took the balloon ride, we had a few hours to spare so we decided to rent a motorbike and see a bit of the surrounding areas. Our end destination was the famous Blue Lagoon which I describe a bit further on.
Me and my friend went to almost every bike rental place in town looking for a single bike which we luckily found (last one!). Tip: book a day in advance!
This was another chance for to me get out of my comfort zone because I was always petrified when I though of riding a motorbike … what if I have an accident and end up in the hospital with all my bones broken? The darkest thoughts had always ran through my mind when I thought about motorcycling. It turned out to be an amazing experience … being out in the open, wind blowing through my hair and being able to embrace the beauty of the place was just exhilarating and it only costed us 600 lao kip.
Tubing on the river
The whole concept of tubing involves sitting in the tractor inner tube and floating down the river. It is an amazing experience. For the whole 2 hours you can relax and unwind admiring the spectacular beauty of our planet. It will cost you 55 000 Lao kip ($7) for tube rental and 60 000 Lao kip ($7.40) deposit. You will be taken by tuk-tuk to the starting point and float back into town.
Remember to put a lot of sunscreen on as you can get serious sun burn! Put your belongings into a dry bag so you don’t end up with you camera or phone completely wet!
Tubing in Vang Vieng is very different nowadays then it used to be a few years ago. It used to attract loads of young people with the love of alcohol, drugs, sex and loud music but after quite a few deaths, that happened among the tourists being careless and jumping into shallow waters, the Lao government stepped in and ended the party! Bars located along the river that used to pull floating tourist on ropes in for drinks were taken down! Adventurous Kate has got a post on how tubing in Vang Vieng was a few years ago ( for the post click here).
In 2011 alone, 27 tourists died in Vang Vieng. The last three people were killed in one day.
We reached the blue lagoon after around an 1.5 hrs journey on our bike. The trip would have been at least 40 mins shorter if we didn’t hop off and on the bike every 5 mins to take photos. We were also a bit nervous because for both of us it was our first motorbike ride so we took our time driving quite slow.
It is not without the reason that Blue Lagoon is so famous as it has an amazing emerald clear water, relaxed atmosphere and a big tree in the middle of it with ropes, swings and places to jump from. The entry to the lagoon is 10 000 kip ($1.20)
Room with a mountain view
We booked the accommodation before our departure from UK and stayed at the amazing Champa Lao The Villa. I would definitely recommend this place to stay as stuff was really friendly and helpful. The room price was just $11 for a triple room with a gorgeous view and balcony.
When I stepped into our room I was speechless from how beautiful the view was. I can’t even describe the feeling that I had when I woke up in the morning after our first night – sun shining through the window and it was so quiet and peaceful that I wanted to stay in bed for a bit longer. Unfortunately our schedule was very busy.
Having that beautiful mountains cliffs just outside my window was an experience in itself. Being able to embrace the beauty of the nature like this is so relaxing and takes your mind of the worries of everyday life.
What have you done recently to get out of your comfort zone? Please drop your comment below! 🙂