Wednesday Wanderlust: Vang Vieng
After a four hour bus journey up North along the Nam Song River, I arrived to Vang Vieng. A town very well known with tourists coming here for tubing down the river, pub-crawling on water basically. I most definitely did not come here for that. I was pleasantly welcomed by the greenery, the mountains & a fast flowing river. The little town was stunning & couldn't wait to explore.
I went to find those amazing sunset shots by the river & down little streets & hotel's carparks.
The following day was FULL on! First, went out on a hike up to Pha Ngeun Mountain! Stunning views of the mountain range & the surrounding areas of Vang Vieng. The climb can be a little slippery in some areas so be a little cautious. There's a little shelter at the top of the mountain where you can have a break & chill.
After the Mountain, the driver took us to the Blue Lagoon, where you can enjoy a swim & other activities in the clear waters. We skipped the Lagoon & headed straight to the Tham Phoukham Cave. You can hire a guide to explore the cave fully & there are torches to hire at the entrance too. The cave was awesome & went on for miles. It got to the point where I was actually scared to carry on by myself. I have a huge fear of caving so this was a bit of a challenge but was an amazing experience! Again, some areas were a bit tough to walk through, but where there's a will there's a way.
We then got dropped off by this beautiful orange bridge crossing the river, where we just enjoyed the surrounding scenery & ate some local food. This is actually a stop for Tham Jang Cave & Blue Lagoon 2, but the bridge & an abandoned building were more interesting we thought!
After having a little break by the bridge, we headed to the other side of town to Kaeng Nyui Waterfall which was quite a trek out on a super bumpy & muddy track, but was fun! Where the driver drops you off, you need to walk for 5/10 minutes to reach the waterfall. The waterfall & the area around it were super beautiful! Definitely worth the trek there & back into town.
After the waterfall, we were absolutely knackered but we desperately wanted to see the sunset & what better way to do that other than hop on a hot air balloon! Us thinking we're doing it for real as the guide "booked" it for us. Well, it was all too good to be true. I mean I wasn't planning to do it at all, but thought why not. But in the end it didn't happen & the following night it was raining so didn't get a chance to do it. & if you happen to be in Vang Vieng, do it! It will be an amazing experience!
So what's there for me to do after being disappointed & disheartened by the whole hot air balloon thing. Eat & drink! There are many restaurants & bars, just wander around town & you'll definitely find a spot that you enjoy. Some places are more chill than others, it all depends what you like. Local food was yum, especially the curries, Kanom Krok (Laotian coconut cakes) & these desserts from Luang Prabang Bakery! & for a complete chilled out night, head over to Smile Beach Bar situated by the river & lounge in one of many hammocks with a cold beverage in hand. There's a fire going later at night & the whole place sends out good vibes. Recommend! This is also the last place for the tubing route. However, if you fancy some loud music & people & dancing, head to Sakura Bar.
After my short adventure in Vang Vieng I was ready to move on to Luang Prabang next. Write up on this beautiful UNESCO town will be up in next week's Wednesday's Wanderlust!