Thursday, April 26, 2007

Day 18: Vang Vieng

“Mud and a long bath”

Massive storm this morning which was good and bad: good that I didn’t have to travel today and bad that I wanted to get out and explore. Killed the first few hours of the day reading Hunter S Thompson’s Rum Diary on the balcony while the rain tumbled down.

When the rain eased I headed out to explore the spectacular caves. The safety rigour was similar to the Philippines – ie non-existent. The rain came down when I was out near the lagoon and so I ended up muddy and saturated by the time I returned to town.

I suggested to a Dutch cyclist I’d met that we should have a tube ride down the river, which we commenced about 1.30pm. Basically they drive you upstream, hand you a truck inner tube and put you in the water. On the way downstream there are about 20 bars that are trying to attract your custom – pulling you in with a large stick. Most of the bars have tarzan swings and flying foxes, which I made use of. The river was travelling slowly at the moment which gave me time to finish off my book in the shadow of massive cliffs. Floated for two and a half hours before Raphael and I climbed out of the river and hailed a tuk-tuk back to town.

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