We drove north for 3 hours yesterday to spend a few days in Vang Vieng. When I was last there 12 years ago it was just a small town catering for backpackers. Now, whilst there are still plenty of young foreigners there, it has expanded a lot and offers a wide variety of activities such as kayaking, off road buggies, caving, hot air ballooning, motorised hang gliding, river tubing etc.
We went on a speedboat down the river yesterday [see below], and spent today at three different lagoons, swimming, exploring caves, doing high dives and rope swings into the pools, etc. JD loved it.
We were in a cheap (£10 a room inc breakfast) but very pleasant hotel last night but, after our day at the lagoons, Li insisted on finding a "better" spa hotel he'd heard about, some distance north of the town.
It turned out to be nearly three hours drive away and, as we arrived in the dark, they told us they only had one room free! The nearest alternative hotel was further 20km and so eventually they allowed all 6 of us to sleep in the one room. Bad enough, but the room was awful; flooded bathroom, stains on the linen, bugs in the bed, torn curtains, numerous daddy long-legs flying around. We made a relieved escape the next morning after a quick swim in the hot spring. A disappointing end to an otherwise really nice trip into the Laos countryside.
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