|I realize that I'm officially the worst blogger ever (thanks Kerri!)but I'm going to cover everything, I promise!
SO, about a month ago I was on my way to Laos from Cambodia. And thank goodness for that trip because Laos is one of my favorite places in the world. It's absolutely GORGEOUS in every way. We only had about 6 days in Laos so we spent time in Luang Prabang and then a day in Vang Vieng.
Luang Prabang is a quaint little town right on the Mekong river. It has many buddhist temples that are brilliantly decorated with LOTS of gold and many had mosaics murals made of colored glass. On the 15th we rented bikes and spent a day biking along the river from one temple to the next, stopping to eat at the many eateries right along the river bank. We also went to see the Royal Palace Museum and saw a Laotian Ballet (which was not the best show I'd ever seen...). The night market that they set up every night was one of the best I'd seen with tons of vendors selling paintings, jewelry, clothing and other fun stuff. The next day we went to a waterfall (after a 5 minute slow boat ride down the Mekong) and had the best day hiking around the jungle and swimming in the cascading falls. There was also an elephant riding station there so every now and then we'd look down river to see elephants bathing in the water. And, it was GORGEOUS. On the 17th we got on a bus and drove 8 hours to Vang Vieng through the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen. The road curved through the small forest-covered mountains with the sun peeking through the most magnificent cloud display the entire way. It was magical. :) Definitely the best bus trip (scenerywise) I'd ever been on. We also ran into our two friends that we met on the Halong Bay cruise along the way and had a nice lunch with them. Vang Vieng is an amazing little village that is most famous (at least amongst the tourists) for it's tubing down the river. Besides the GORGEOUS scenery along the way, tubers and kayakers can stop at the many bars that line the river. It was fun to kayak along and see tubers jumping off platforms, swinging from ropes and sliding down huge slides into the river. It was also amusing to see the dance parties and mud wrestling that was taking place everywhere. Everything was pretty nuts. We had a great time until the end of the night when some drunko decided he needed to get into my kayak. After tipping my kayak over the 3rd time and after many warnings, I started hitting him over the head with my paddle while Jeff (the calm one) kept trying to guide him away back to his own tube. He finally listened to Jeff (after a few whacks from me too) and left me alone. Once we made it to shore we decided to call it a night. Vang Vieng was breathtakingly beautiful and I would have loved to have stayed longer to explore it, but we had to get back to Luang Prabang so we could fly to Thailand and meet Lindsey!
Bottom line: Laos is absolutely amazing and I can't wait to go back.