Yet another day on a bus. There’s a local service you can catch for as little as $1.50, but for a change I wanted to be sure I could stretch out and not play “battery hen” for three hours. As such I paid $6 and wasn’t disappointed with the experience.
The pickup was on time, the bus was pretty full and the Lao woman next to me spoke good English (acting as translator for many passengers) and had the most gorgeous 6-month-at-a-guess old son with her who giggled and smiled at me for the entire trip. Great kid. In between waving at him and poking his nose I managed to start, plough through and finish a James Patterson novel I picked up in Hanoi, and watch two more episodes of Heroes.
In Vang Vieng I hit a quandary. Everyone wanted me to stay at their place but I’d already booked a room at the Babylon Guest House courtesy of Abby’s recommendation. Thankfully, once again, Laos politeness took hold and even the jumbo/tuk-tuk drivers told me it was nearby and didn’t offer to drive me there for $10. I got chatting to two Dutch girls on the walk there, and met up with them later in the evening. In addition, as I arrived a gaggle of others turned up and we all sat around and had drinks into the late evening.
I’d make an effort to name everyone, but I’ve forgotten one or two names already. Give me a day or so to get them all down…
The food at the hostel/hotel/whatever is superb even if they order the pizzas out from somewhere else! Bia Lao is average price and the facilities top notch. I’ve not been beaten at pool yet. I’ve not playedpool yet, but let’s not get into details.
I type this, slightly sozzled and about to crash in bed after this first half-day here. There’s a fair whack to get involved in so I’ll just have to see how it goes here. We’re supposed to be tubing down the lake tomorrow but I guess that depends what time everyone surfaces! There’s caving, rock climbing, dirt biking and hiking to be done around here. And I have three to four days to do it all. I’m just glad it’s cheap.