|What a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day - with a hot air balloon ride! We took off from the local school grounds in Vang Vieng and soared for an hour over the river, clipping tree tops, then high into the air, to finally land in a rice field. Exhilarating!
We joined the hundreds of "young ones" and tubed down the river one day. For us, we enjoyed the relaxing drifting down the river for three or four hours. For others it was dancing at the loud music bars en-route with rope swings into the river, or water slides -and all helped by copious quantities of BeerLao or Whiskey Buckets or "happy baccy", or....? We were warned not to order a Happy Burger or Happy Pizza as it would come with added ingredients!
We ventured 4 kms out of town to an organic goat and mulberry farm for a few days. Here we volunteered to help with the goats which meant getting up at 6.30 am to sweep goat poo through slats in the floor to the compost bins below. The goats then needed fresh water and lots of baskets of mulberry leaves. Some of them were milked to make goat cheese or to supplement feed a little twin kid whose mother didn't have enough milk to feed both her babies. We swam in the river during the day and watched the antics at one of the tubing bars just across the river until it was goat feeding time again in the afternoon. Fresh water, more mulberry leaves and a crushed grain feed for this meal.
We also watched the process for making mulberry tea - picking, blanching, drying by hand in a big wok for 4 hours of continual tossing.