After Vientiane we went north by minivan to Vang Vieng. While the six-hour drive was through pretty scenery, the whole operation was a bit crazy. The driver never stopped once for a bathroom or food break. Usually this type of transit stops every two hours or so, but this driver just thought we should hold it the whole way. Thankfully nobody peed themselves. This might sound weird, but Katie is a pro at not peeing herself and purposely dehydrates herself on travel days so she’s never in a position to have to go when no options are on the table. She’s much smarter than I am. I just wing it and hope I don’t explode.
Once we made it to Vang Vieng, we checked into our hostel and realized what a crappy place it really was. First they took us to a room which wasn’t even cleaned from the last guests. Once we had to point out ourselves that it was still dirty, they took us to another room where there was, no joke, a 1×1 foot square hole in the wall leading straight outside. It looked to be where an AC unit was and they removed it but never patched it. At this point we were over it, so I made a makeshift patch and we said “it will do”. It also had the worst coat of blood red paint on the walls. Basically the type of room you have nightmares about. For us, hostels can be a necessary evil as some are crappy places to stay BUT come with the most organization, cheap tours, amenities like laundry and usually fun people. We just accept going in we may be staying in sketchier accommodations.
We had a blast while there though as the city is known for tubing the Nam Song river which flows right through town. So we spent a full day just floating and drinking at the bars along the river. The tube rental company drives you to the drop off point but you’re only in the water a few minutes before getting out at the first bar. Katie schooled all the young backpackers at beer pong (she still has it!) and I found a volleyball game which always is a win. We met a really fun couple from South Africa who we spent the day hanging out and chatting with. The second bar stop wasn’t much further down the river and after drinking there for a bit, we realized the sun would soon be setting so we got our beers to go and continued on. It started getting chilly but we made it to town just after the sun went down over the mountain.
In addition to tubing, Vang Vieng offers some delicious street foods. You could usually find me getting loaded up sandwiches a few times a day from my go-to street food girl. Each sandwich cost about $.80 and was packed full of meats and veggies. Other than street food we had the best burger and fries of the entire trip at a spot called Earth Bar. Their veggie burger and meat burgers were seriously insane. We still drool about them months later.