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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Vang Vieng, LA21, Laos

Apr 15, 2005 - Route 13

Leaving Luang Prabang we caught a mini-bus heading deep into the Mountains south on infamous Route 13. As the only through road between the provinces of Luang Prabang and the capital of Vientiane, the poverty stricken villagers who live along this route have resorted to a new form of economic support... no not agriculture, but banditry. So after hearing a few horror stories about this stretch of our journey, we were definitely on the edge of our seats when we passed the first check point of bandits. We immediately asked our Lao driver about...

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Pacific Adventures

Apr 6, 2005 - I've found the best watersport ever!

So having spent some relaxing time in pretty Luang Prabang I decided to head south to a town called Vang Vieng, another so called 'backpackers haven'. I booked a minivan to go there as the trip takes 7-8 hours by public bus and it would save me 2-3 hours! My bum has taken some pretty harsh treatment from the public transport in SE Asia so it was worth the US$6! The trip was quite interesting. About 10 of us piled into the minivan, the driver donned his aviator shades, pumped up the Happy-happy-Bontempi-Asian-technopop and took us on a...

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Mar 27, 2005 - Vang Vieng

At some stage during the night it stopped raining and with a bright morning dawning we decided to make our trip by bike instead. After a dodgy start (the bike couldn't get going at first) we set off on route 13, 153km north towards Vang Vieng - self-proclaimed chill-out town. (Apparently opium dens are still in existence in this town!) We were stunned by the quality of the roads, but more than a little disappointed by the scenery after the beauty of Cambodia's landscape - how naïve we were! Within an hour we were beginning our winding...

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Mar 12, 2005 - Vang Vieng

I spent the past week in Vang Vien. Its a dusty little stop on the road north of Vientiane surrounded by a remarkable time warp. While time travels at its normal pace outside, inside things glide by in an undeliniated haze. The town is built between an old American airstrip purportedly used for drug runs from here in the infamous "Golden Triangle", and the Mekong river as it meanders along the cliffs of several tall hills. My days were spent in slow motion: tubing and kayaking down the river, stopping along the way to jump off rope swings...

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Mar 9, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Wow, this was a weird little town. We went and found ourselves a little bungalow on the riverfront to camp in. 6$ and pre-installed moosquito nets... then we went for a walk down the main street. Both sides were lined with open air bar/restau places. Instead of chairs and tables or even barstools, it was all raised platforms with cushions around tables. Nothing like laying aroud drinking watermelon shakes all day? Only, they were so not Lao and all faced TVs playing nothing but western movies and Friends (episode, after episode, after...

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Feb 27, 2005 - The real Laos

After three days of trekking 'Laos style' I was exhausted and in desperate need of both a shower and a meal without sticky rice! The trails of the trek reminded me of Nepal with dusty, narrow, footpaths along mountaintops with stunning scenery. Much like Nepal, the narrow paths were the only way to get from point A to point B. Roads, motorbikes and even bicycles were not an option. We shared the path with the villagers, water buffalos, cows, chickens, and a stray falang (foreigner) or two. But, mostly the paths were empty. Three weeks of...

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The Journey

Feb 20, 2005 - LAOS - Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng is situated in an idyllic location. Fringed by soaring limestone cliffs and perched on the banks of the Nam Song river, buffalo wander freely through the lush fields and rice paddies, the silence only occasionally broken by the mellow sounding of a gong from the local Wat. Now well and truly established on the backpacker trail and situated approximately halfway between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, the main street of this small town has unfortunately been transformed into a minature version of Bangkok's Khao San Road - An...

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Feb 15, 2005 - Vang Vieng...un futur Kao San Road????

non, on ne veut pas de bus VIP, non on ne veut pas de mini van, nous voulons le bus local!!!!! et bien on l aura voulu! 4 touristes a 10h30 et des bouteilles de gaz sur le toit du bus. un beau paysage sur les 3h30 de trajet et un touriste un peu fou qui n arrete pas de nous saouler pendant tout le trajet a nous raconter de "droles ' d histoires. Mais finalement tant mieux car ca nous permet d oublier (enfin presque) les bruits etranges du bus... a chaque virage, le metal frotte sur la roue, ce qui fait un bruit pas tres agreable. le...

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Feb 13, 2005 - Vang Vieng, Queenstown of SE Asia

Vang Vieng, The Queenstown of SE Asia, this otherwise unremarkable town has been put on the tourist map by the huge limestone 'karsts' that surround it and are visible from everywhere looming over the town. These wonderful cliffs and cave systems, combined with excellent river action, means that there is action aplenty for those looking for it. The trip here was uneventful, but the Vang Vieng bus terminal is several square kilometers of disused bitumen airstrip built by the US in the 60's. Surreal. Nice little hotel called Malany's. Pop...

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Feb 13, 2005 - Vang Vieng, Laos

Sat 12/2 Hot Another early start, 8.30am bus to Vang Vieng - it's a good job we got here early, they had sold toomany tickets forthe bus, sosome people were turned away!! Uncomfortable journey - very little room, and hot bus - windy windy roads for most of the way..... Got toVang Vieng at 3.30pm, it doesn't look like much of a place, but only 2 nites here, so thats Ok. Spectacular scenery again on the way here, lots of limestone karsts (I think that's what they're called - big hilly things!)... Laos really does look more Lord of the Rings...

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Pippa on Tour

Feb 2, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Well, we finally got to leave Vientiane because we got all of our Visa stuff done and over with...................so we got the first bus out of town to Vang Vieng. We caught a local bus for 15,000 kip each ($1.50 CAD), which was supposed to leave at 1:30pm, but instead left at 2:00pm. The bus was old, dilapitated, and in bad need of a crushing, but it got us there. I filmed as much as I could of the land scaping and the scenery along the way, but it's very difficult to capture the true essense of what we are looking at. At first, we were...

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Jan 31, 2005 - Vang Vieng

Vang Vieng gives off the impression of a place that has been developed for the sole purpose of a resort for hippy backpackers! You get dropped off by bus at an old American airport strip and then walk 100m to all the hotels and restuarants that are built just off the strip. The main attraction of Vang Vieng is the scenery, which is fantastic. It has 'karst' mountains similar to those we saw in Yangshou and Krabi, and is based on a river. We spoke to someone who had a Lonely Planet guide from 1999 and hardly anything was mentionned atall...

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Stu and Liz On Tour

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