Tuesday 30th of December 2014 and they were on my terrace at 7 o'clock in the morning to wake me up. That's the spirit! I left my cabin around 10 o'clock to go for breakfast. I had decided to try a place that I passed yesterday, it looked nice and it was only a few minutes’' walk from my room.
There were 5 Thai people in the reception, they were carrying backpacks and their pushbikes where standing on the road. I was surprised when I heard them say that they were checking out. Luggage and bicycles, well, maybe they are on a bike holiday in Laos. But with all the mountains I don't think Laos is a dream destination if you're on a bike.
But off they went on their bikes, up the hill with their luggage. I went in to the cafe and I met them again. I asked for a spinach omelette and tea. I also asked a ham and cheese baguette. 2 cups of tea as they didn't had any pots. One cup was OK, the other one had some white stuff floating in it, and the tea was yellow. Did they piss in the cup?
I sent out that cup again, the spinach omelette was OK but the lain baguette coming with the omelette was not very good.
And I only had one bite on the cheese and ham baguette. I was almost throwing up when I bite the baguette and I left the darn thing on the plate.
I asked for my bill and they asked if I wanted a bag for my baguette. I said no thanks, it was the worst baguette I have ever had. He asked what was wrong and I asked what was in the baguette. Well, he deducted the baguette from the price.
I went to the bike shop and I rented the biggest motorbike they had, a wise move. They had the cheaper scooter option. But I would look stupid on a scooter, and the roads around here is not in any condition to drive a scooter.
So I rented an off road looking bike. 200,000 KIP for a full day, which is about 25 US Dollars so that is OK. But I had to go fill up gas by myself. They had a map and I took off on my Honda 150CC dirt bike looking machine.
I had expected to be straight on the country side and I was not happy to drive through the city. But there wasn't very much traffic and the gas stop was quite easy to find. Well, there are only 3 streets in town so how hard can it be.
I filled the tank with 5 litres of gasoline, and that was 60,000 KIP something and I took off looking for the bridge over the Nam Song River.
I had to cross the river to get to the Blue Lagoon.
It was actually 2 bridges according to the map as we were crossing a very small island. I was soon at the bridge, it is not too hard to find things here in Vang Vieng. And the wooden construction turned out to be a toll bridge. I had to pay 10000 KIP to cross the bridge, but the price was including the coming back.
I drove on the dirt road towards the Blue Lagoon. I discovered that all the people left the road and drove down a path in the rice paddy. Well, I thought they were going to look at a cave or something. I was soon discovering why they left the road.
I reached a mud/ water hole covering the road. I saw a row of small beach buggy type of cars coming towards me. If they can pass I can pass with my “Off road racer”
I crossed the mud hole and my “racer” did good. But my pink shoes will never be pink again. I reached the Blue Lagoon and there were plenty people. There was a zip line in the tree tops going around the Blue Lagoon. Something I decided not to try.
When I left I passed 2 girls, one of them was very beautiful and I never paid any attention to how the other girl looked as I discovered where their scooter came from. Bangkok!
Yes, when I discovered Bangkok on the license plate I had to double check. These two girls had been on the scooter from Bangkok, which must have been what I call a real horror trip. I have been driving my motorbike for an hour and my arse was at least to say sore.
The girls were gone and darn! That was 2 girls I would have liked to speak with, I'm sure they would have had an interesting story to tell. And even if I would not even dream of going on a scooter between Bangkok and Vang Vieng it is impossible NOT to like people like that. They are not afraid of an adventure and that is the spirit we're looking for.
I would like to have been a fly on their wall when they came up with their holiday plans
- What to do for New Year?
- Let's drive to Vang Vieng on our moped
- Yeah, great idea!
Yes, when I saw the license plate I looked around at the Blue lagoon and there was only one moped with Thai license plate. So they must have been two on the moped.
I left the Blue Lagoon and I continued on the dust road until I reached a path going out on the rice paddies. I left the road and I continued on the path. And yet again, I was lucky that I had rented an “Off road racer” I was really in the middle of nowhere and I started to get scared, what if my motorbike breaks down?
And I was scared a second time, that was when I remembered the Black Mamba in Africa. Do they have them here? I for sure hope not. And I was scared a third time. The path was full of buffaloes and there was one blocking the road. He looked angry and I backed off with my bike. He came closer again and I backed up a wee bit again.
Yeah, wouldn't that have been a dream come through to be attacked by a buffalo? I continued on the dust road when I was back out from the rice paddies. I drove through a few villages before I made a U-turn and I drove back towards Vang Vieng. I stopped to buy a bottle of water and I saw 2 kids running around looking for empty vans, I good sign.
I drove past a girl and just when I passed her I was a yet another new born cow. I stopped the motorbike and I got off the bike starting to walk back. I wonder what the girl thought, I come hissing by and then I stop and walk back towards her. Maybe she got scared when she saw me.
We were in the middle of nowhere. And why is she here walking all by lonely? It is a long walk back to Vang Vieng.
The cow was only a few minutes old when we passed. She could not yet walk and 'she was lying next to the road.
Yes, this day have turned in to a real safari with buffaloes and new born cows. And I have never seen any new born cows before so I was quite excited. I was talking with the girl for a while, but as I didn't want to disturb the cow and the new baby I were soon on my way again.
I never asked the girl if she wanted a lift, would have seemed strange. And if she wanted a ride she could have asked. Well she was better off as I had to drive through the mud hole again. And I was covered in mud almost all the way up to my knees.
I passed one guy sitting with his scooter on a tractor or whatever they call these small vehicles used by the farmers in this part of the world.
He had obviously not been lucky with his choice of transportation, well, he was lucky to find someone to bring it back to Vang Vieng.
I was hungry and I was thinking about where to eat my dinner. I had given up all hopes to find any fine dining in Vang Vieng. But when I came across the bridge I saw something on my right hand side. It looked like a nice hotel and I thought restaurant.
Jesus Christ! Was I lucky or what to have spotted this place while roaring by on my “Off road racer”? The food was excellent. The green curry, I will not be surprised if this turns out to be my best meal in Laos.
I will also try to find a Lao restaurant in Bangkok. Thanks to the Luang Say Cruise that I discovered Lao food. The spring rolls was very good, but not as good as the spring rolls I had in Luang Prabang
And I was about to cancel the spring rolls and to order yet another green curry when I tasted the curry. I was very pleased when I left the Villa Vang Vieng Riverside. I will be back again before leaving Vang Vieng.
I asked them if they knew a cooking school here in Vang Vieng, I had seen one in Luang Prabang. I just need a few hours to learn how to make the green curry. The spring rolls, never mind as I will never learn how to make them.
Maybe I can find a cooking course in Pakse.
I drove back to the motorcycle shop and I returned my bike. I went in to the tubing shop next door to make some inquiries. I asked how the water was, and yeah, it was a wee bit cold. I told them that I would be back tomorrow around mid-day.
I met some people coming back with their tubes and I asked if it was cold, and yes, it had been a wee bit chilly at the end when the Nam Song River was in the shadow from the mountains
They were out of diet drinks on “my” street so I had to take another turn around Vang Vieng to have a look for the diet drinks. Good, I got some exercise and I got a good view of the city.
I had forgot my waterproof Songkran bag at home and I bought a bag in one of the shops. I need to keep my money in waterproof bag while doing the tubing tomorrow. And for my snus, I brought my last 4 and a half cans of snus for the New Year's Eve.
Drinking beer and a snus can come in handy.
I had walked around the ton when I was back where I had bought my diet drinks yesterday. I bought 5 cans and I walked back to my room. I passed a 4 motorbikes, no it was mopeds, with Thai license plates.
I checked where they came from, Chiang Mai.
I asked who had been driving on the mopeds from Chiang Mai.
There were a few guys sitting next to the road. And they told me that they had been driving from Chiang Mai
- Why you come here?
- Chiang Mai is very boring during the New Year
- Pretty much boring all the time, I suggested
They agreed with me. They had stopped here to look for a place to stay, everything is full and I'm happy that I found my hut. I have seen plenty people walking around with their luggage looking for a room. Well, it is 2014 and rooms can be booked in advance.
I did the same thing when I was a wee lad, but then there were no internet and you had to walk around looking for a room. So it is much better now.
I was soon back in my room and I checked my pictures I had taken during the day.
Well, too many pictures again. But now I have been taking pictures of everything in Vang Vieng so there are no more need to take any more pictures. Well, New Year's Eve and tubing tomorrow, you just need to click HERE to find yourself in the middle of that adventure
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