After changing money in Luang Prabang we headed of to Vang Vien. We were delighted to find that changing 100 US Dollars makes you a millionaire in Laos but soon got over the novelty when we tried to stash the wads of 'kip' about our persons!
The only travel option to Vang Vien is via the infamous Route 13 which over the years has seen a number of hijackings and other such unsavoury events. For added safety we hired a minibus as the general thought is only governemtn buses get targetted. However after about 20k we say the first of many armed hooligans (opps sorry we mean uniformed officials!) and a burnt out public bus. We were very thankful to get to Vang Vien safely. Simon enjoyed a spot of Tubing on the river which basically involves hopping into a big rubber ring and gently floating down the river drinking beer Lao (without a doubt the finest beer in the world).
Unfortunatly later that same day some of the people we were travelling with had their hostel rooms broken into and all their valuables stolen - we were the only ones not to be robbed so were once again very thankful. By this point we were not getting good vibes from Vang Vien so headed off down to the capital of Laos, Vientiene. WHich is wehere we are now. The original plan was to continue down to the South of Laos and into CAmbodia but we are worrying a bit about how rushed we'll be doing that route so have deceided to head to Hanoi, Vietnam today instead. We had it all planned - we'd decided to splash some cash and fly to Hanoi but little did we know that in South East Asia money doesn't always talk - we couldn;t get on a flight for at least a week so we have opted for the far less solubrious option of the 24hour bus journey!! We head off at 6pm this evening and look forward to shouting "Good Morning Vietnam" some time in the early hours tomorrow.