Mini trip to Vang Vieng July 7, 2006Posted by Guido in General, travelling.
We want you to get more out of your trip to Laos than just the wedding. We also think it’d be great if we could do some travelling with friends and family. So we are organizing a little trip and everybody is invited to join.
We’re starting on 27 December with a (belated) Christmas dinner in one of Vientiane’s prime night time locations, the Kop Chai Due Restaurant. It’s a great restaurant, bar and beer garden set in a beautiful french colonial building with a live band every night.
The next morning we will have a bus arranged that will take all of us to Luang Prabang. But not directly. We will take it easy and break the trip in two, stopping for two days in the lovely little village of Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng gets much of its charm from the beautiful Nam Song River and the karst limestone mountains lining it. It’s that Chinese painting type of mountain that rises straight up from flat rice fields and the river. The mountains are particularly beautiful with that golden glow of sunset behind them… the perfect time to sit and have a drink in one of the riverside restaurants.
Vang Vieng was discovered by backpackers already a while ago and the villagers have figured out how to cater for the growing number of travellers. Nonetheless the Lao lifestyle has managed to survive alongside the tourists, making for a fun combination of authentic village life and simple (eco)tourism action: there are caves to explore, trekking, kayaking and rafting trips. To chill out and enjoy the scenery, hire a tire inner tube and float down the river basking in the beauty of the countryside, stopping for beers along the way (enterprising boys have setup little floating bamboo platforms in the middle of the river, selling cold beers!).
After two days we’ll move on to Luang Prabang. The 6 hour drive is through beautiful mountainous scenery. We’ll arrive somewhere in the afternoon and will check in to our hotels and freshen up and start looking for a nice outdoor restaurant on the Mekong River. The next day there are several things we can do. We can browse around town and visit some of the many temples (and show you the exact place where we met for the first time). We could also go to the Kuang Si waterfall and swim in its pools or make a boat trip to the Pak Ou caves with its thousands of buddha statues. Oh and it’s New Years Eve, so we’ll have to make a party somewhere. We’ll see. It’ll be fun.
To break it down.
- 27 December: Dinner in Vientiane
- 28 December: Travel to Vang Vieng; check in to guesthouse; having drinks overlooking the Nam Song River and mountains at sunset.
- 29 December: floating on an tire inner tube down the river basking in the beauty of the countryside, a beverage of choice in one hand and the other hand lazily in the water; biking to nearby villages and explore the caves in the limestone mountains; more tropical lounging with fresh fruit juices and cold beers.
- 30 December: Traveling to Luang Prabang; checking in to hotel; having papaya salad on the banks of the Mekong River in this Unesco World Heritage site.
- 31 December: Temple browsing; swimming at the Kuang Si waterfall; Pak Ou caves; New Years Eve party in Luang Prabang…
- 1 January: In the morning, we will go to the temple for pre-wedding blessing from the monks. Everybody is invited to join. Lunch will be provided afterwards.
- 2 January: Wedding ceremony in the morning followed by lunch; drinks, dinner and dancing starting in the late afternoon.
It would be wonderful if you could join us on this mini trip. It’ll be a fantastic chance to travel with your friends/family and to get to know other wedding guests.
If you want to be in Vientiane in time for the dinner on the 27th, you’d have to leave your country on the 25th of December. You would arrive in Bangkok on the 26th. You could then take the night train on the same day and arrive in Vientiane in the morning of the 27th. Or you could leave home on the 26th and arrive in Bangkok on the 27th, but you’ll have to get a flight to Vientiane the same day to make it in time for dinner. Again don’t wait with booking your ticket. Now is the time to book. Rates are only going to be more expensive.
And yes, you will miss Christmas at home, but we’ll make it up for you by hosting a delicious (late-)Christmas dinner in Vientiane.
Leave a comment if you feel like coming with us on this trip or if you have any good ideas and suggestions.