05.01.2012 - 11.01.2012 25 °C
We woke up at the ridiculous hour of 3:30 AM in KL to walk over to the nearby station to catch the sky bus to the airport. It took 1 hour and after we arrived I felt absolutely horrible. We got on the Air Asia plane at about 7:00 am. They were the most uncomfortable seats but somehow I managed to get some sleep.
The flight was 2.45 hours and we arrived to a rainy and cold Vientiane. It took almost an 1 hour waiting in line to get our visas. We then realised we had no idea how to get to Vang Vieng. We had some lunch at the airport (fried rice) and then took a $7 taxi into town to catch a bus to Vang Vieng. It got a bit confusing trying to organise it with the locals. We paid $10 for the VIP bus (I think not). It was Was 4 hour trip with a toilet break (which cost 1000 kip, more if you wanted toilet paper). We had some chilli prawn and sour cream chips and then got back on the bus. We didn't drive over 30 km/hr the entire trip and most of the way was a dirt road - very dusty and very bumpy. We passed a lot of towns which were just collections of bamboo huts and there were a lot of stray dogs and cattle running around.
When we arrived in Vang Vieng (which is very dusty and there are a lot of stray animals) all of the passengers paid a tuk-tuk to get into town, even though it was a 5 minute walk. We struggled to find our accommodation (Amphone Guesthouse) because our map had the wrong hostel. We did manage to find it eventually though! It was a struggle to get up the staircase which was very thin and slippery. We finally have a private bathroom!. Once settled in, we went out to grab dinner. The restaurants all have cushions to sit/lay down on and your choice of 'Family Guy' or 'Friends' constantly playing on repeat on the TV. I had a chicken BBQ dinner with chips and salad and kebabs and it was absolutely delicious. We also had some beer and all up it cost about $3 for the lot. Afterwards we bought a bucket of lao mojito ($5) and then a vodka bucket and then another lao buckets and then yet another lao bucket and continued to watch 'Friends'. At dinner we were given a coupon for a free bucket at Smile bar so we wandered over the bridge for that and had another 3 whiskey buckets there. We played and lost horribly at beer pong then wandered over to another bar and watched a local attempt card tricks thought he was terrible at it. I got mad at Bundy (no recollection of why) and walked home. He followed me and we passed out in our room.
We were woken very early by the roosters. When I woke up I was also very hungover and thus our plans to go tubing didn't happen. We got some breakfast at a 'Family Guy' restaurant (fried rice and a yummy strawberry and lemon shake). I still felt horrible, so we went back to bed. Next thing I knew when we woke up again it was dinner time. I had pan grilled chicken with pineapple, garlic, onion and cashew nuts with a coffee and banana shake and a fruit salad. NOM NOM. Then we went back to watch some more 'Family Guy' and eat some more $1 food and $1 beer. TUBING TOMORROW (assuming I'm not hungover again..)
We woke up early again, thanks to the roosters, and went out for an awesome baguette pizza for breakfast and an average coffee. Then we headed down the road and waited for some more tubers before catching a tuk-tuk to the river. We got along with some Australians from Sydney in the tuk tuk and so we spent the day with them. They had been before and their only aim for today was to finish the river so unfortunately it was more tubing than drinking but it was still a good day (although I do not recommend tubing the whole river especially since you need to return the tube by 6:00 pm). The end of the river is far too long with little alcohol and I got rashes all over my arm from it rubbing against the tube. The first bar was a lot of fun, we lost beer pong but won beersbie (frisbee with a can of beer on a stick. Bundy went down a slide and dislocated his shoulder and then it dislocated again when he was showing everyone how it dislocated in the first place. We saw some water buffalo chilling out in the river towards the end. After a long day, we had pizza for dinner at one restaurant and then fried rice at another. There were a lot of drunken backpacker around at night.
We woke up about 4:00 am with Bundy throwing up and feeling terrible. He threw up a lot more at about 9:00 am and then dislocated his shoulder again. I left him to go get lunch (a veggie baguette sandwich with fries at our favourite 'Family Guy' place) and to get him something to snack on. I later had fun trying to unclog our toilet using a bucket handle and duct taping two toilet roles to it. It was as disgusting as it sounds. We ended up staying another few nights so we could go tubing again. I had to try and organise the extra night stays and it was far too difficult. The people there don't understand English very well and I think I paid for a lost key even though I didn't lose it. When I tried to fix it I think I ended up booking another 4 nights. So I think we paid too much, but in the end it only about $6 each.
We woke up early next morning for tubing. We had breakfast somewhere, I don't remember where and then got straight down to the river. We chilled out with buckets of Bacardi at the first bar. We saw the Sydney folk again so we hung out with them and played some more beersbie. I got hit in the face with the frisbee (thanks Bundy). After that things got horribly drunken and I don't remember anything except getting into bed at 9:00 pm and starting to feel very much like throwing up.
I woke up in the morning still feeling terrible and with no memories of tubing. I had a mysterious line of seven bruises down my right leg and a big one on my knee and a huge burn on my little finger (supposedly from a cigarette, no idea why or how). I was a little bit tanned and very dirty. I was also getting very sick of our concrete bed and crappy shower. I clogged the toilet again and now Bundy knows me far too well after I couldn't unclog it myself because I was too sick to really do anything. I do wish we could have gone tubing more often though.
Next stop: Luang Prabang! Even though I was still feeling hungover.