Vang vieng: hard partying or hiking?

Vang Vieng which was my next stop dosen’t exactly have the best reputation. Known for its huge party scene with tubing down the river while consuming alcohol (which a couple of years ago killed 87 tourists in one year) and the unlimited and openly sold drugs attracts a certain type of crowd for sure (one person every 12 days dies due to drugrelated causes )! 

Now don’t let that scare you 🙂 Vang Vieng is increadibly beautiful with its rockformations  surronding town. This also means alot of outdoor activities. More about that in a bit 🙂 

The living prices for a decent hostel are quite cheap, about 30000kipp and include a big breakfast of your choice plus fruits and coffee or tea, bargain! So i decided to treat myself with a private room and this was the view 🙂

View from my room

Since I started my travels in Asia my party mood has sort of vanished. So my focus is completly on trying and experience new things while going out has taken the back seat. 

At the hostel where I was staying I saw a poster of rock climbing school next to all the party adversiment . I thought about it and decided to book it. The receptionist told me I could start the same day and get picked up 10 minutes later and I decided to just go for it! Turned out it was just me and another guy who signed up for the climbing school. I was told to get on the back of his motorbike and then we went. 

After about a 20 minutes rocky ride we got to a lake and had to take a boat to cross it.

Mama mia! So close to the water!

Once we crossed over the river it was time to get down to buisness.  First safety precaustions and learning how to tie a double knot. Then we simply started with the easiest wall which went alright. The danish very tall guy who also was climbing was clearly alot faster than me but oh well!  The good thing about being two was that I could take my sweet time. Everytime I got stuck the instructor would help out by yelling “left foot riiiight ” or whatever. At one point I was loosing my grip and had to shout out for his attention since he was busy talking to a swiss couple also rock climbing. And when we did the final climb which was definatly the hardest I gave up and asked him to slowly put me back on the ground in which he let go of the rope as a joke. I was panic laughing and called him a bad name. ..

Our climbing instructor,  his girlfriends brother and the other participant taking the course 
Can you see me at the top?
The hard wall, only climbed half way and then had a “smooth” ride down..

After our 5 hour climbing sessions and the muscles on my arms and legs being all sour I met up with one of the women I met on the bus to Luang Prabang. We decided to go for a walk.

Our walk crossed big green fields with cows roaming around. We quite sponteniously started seeing signs for a hike where you could go up and inside a cave. We got their paid for the ticket. Climbed up but once halfway there was a “stop danger” sign. Very annoyed about not getting that information while purchasing the ticket we started climbing down again, but first picture time!

After this very active day all I needed was bedrest! The following day i was talking to some people at the hostel trying to get inspiration on what to do on my last day when one person suggested Pha Ngra viewpoints. I looked up on google maps and say that the trail started about an hour away so I got ready. 

Going over the bouncy bridge to get to the trail on the other side of town

Once at the start of the trail ypu pay 10000 kipp and off you go! As I was starting I came across an american man and a Chinease woman walking down. The man was quite upset and said it was to hard so they turned around and then muttered “I have other things I want to do”. 

Not feeling very encouraged I began walking up stairs but after about 5 minutes it stopped and there was just mudd, stones and trees to hold on too. 

Accooring to maps it should take 40 minutes. It was close to 2 hours for me to get to the top :s on the way you have viewpoint one:

Viewpoint 2:

Getting to viewpoint 3 was the most challenging since its placed on a giant rock. You get there by climbing wooden ladders that didn’t feel very stable.  So if you’re doing this hike be careful and take your time. 

Crossing a wooden bridge to get to viewpoint 3

Made it to the final viewpoint! 
Just chilling at the peak

Alright then, time to experience the capital city of Laos Vientinne! 

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