Asia Pacific 2010 - 2011
Golden and brown leaves falling back home. Migratory birds are leaving. Time to take off for me too. The initial plan was to cycle from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur, yet it went all different. And good. 6 months on the road, meeting great people, dwelling in great places, sharing great experiences.
- Category: Asia Pacific 2010 - 2011
Reaching Vang Vieng almost 8 years after I've been here the first time, I just don't recognize this place at all anymore. That sleepy tranquil wooden bar village has developed into a big number of concrete guesthouses, internet cafes and restaurants with English speaking TV all day. And numberless loud bars at night. Find a relaxed and reasonably priced guesthouse 2 miles outside and enjoy a nice sunset behind the limestone rocks on the other side of the river, with flocks of young backpackers floating by on big tubes, yelling and screaming and drinking...
Well, the famous tubing - you'd get a lift few miles upstream, sit sort of helpless in shorts in the burning sun and wait for the river to take you down to town again. There is a section of wooden bars cramped closely to each other on both sides of the otherwise tranquil Song river with load music roaring from big speakers all day. Advertisements for cheap „buckets“, mud volleyball and these kind of activities. Later in town, you can watch bandaged and limping youngsters that survived the adventure. It's said that during rainy season when the river is more wild, some wouldn't return. And it is easy to understand why the locals don't mind – it's just so much money that is spend on alcohol every day...
The good thing with Vang Vieng is the beauty of the nature surrounding it,with less silly entertainment like kayaking, climbing, trekking... As well as good prices and the wide choice for food and accommodation. Finally I found quiet and peaceful moments in a cave and on top of a hill with no one there but me and my cycling mate.