The roads in Laos are really bad, so driving with the bus is not comfortable at all, even if you take the fancy VIP-bus, which is a bit more expensive than the local ones. Arriving to Vientiane was interesting, it didn’t make an impression as coming to a city, rather to a huge village. The buildings aren’t that high and it seemed not that developed. What I noticed were sounds, a lot of them… Staying for almost two weeks in nature and then changing the rural environment for a city is hard. The senses get really sensitive and coming to a city jungle puts you under stress.
I stayed there just for one day and explored it a bit. What I noticed was that the prices were a bit higher than in Vietnam and that I had more difficulties to find the vegetarian dish. There are a lot of temples on almost every corner, but I did not have much time, because I had to catch my bus to Vang Vieng, the party city with beautiful nature. I decided to spend my New Year there.
Vang Vieng is surrounded by small mountains and offers a lot of diverse sports activities. Taking a proper climbing rest made me wanted to go for a kayak tour. I booked a tour in my hostel, which was quite pricey (100.000kip which is 11€), but I was willing to explore the nature on the river. Together with one Japanese guy, we were paddling down the river, but the guide was always saying slow down so that the rest of the tourist managed to overcome some river sequences. Man, that was hard, even if I didn’t paddle, there was the river flow, so for me, the tour was boring. But on the other hand, nature was nice to observe, so it was not a total waste of money.
After the water experience, I wanted to see the city from above, so I hiked on one hill to get a bigger picture of the place (on every step you need to pay something 10.000kip is 1€). The landscape is beautiful, seeing small hills and mountains made me miss the mountains back home less… My friends from back home were sending me photos of powder alert and for me, it was hard to understand, that now is actually winter. But even if my travel was meaning missing out the good start of the ski tour season, it was definitely worth visiting this place of heaven on Earth. The day was coming an end and it was time for dinner. I was so happy to see an Indian restaurant because I was desperate to eat something else then just rice.
Walking down the street made me realize how touristic this place is, you see more tourist then natives… and there was one more reason for the tourist to be here, it was New Year’s Eve, so a lot of people came just because of the party and the drugs. I came because of the mountains and nature and this chaos was driving me crazy, so I decided to take a step into the New Year in another dimension… the dream one 🙂 … I stayed in the hostel, having the room for myself and went to bed one hour before midnight. I must say I slept like a baby and woke up into New Day (Year) rested for new adventures to come.
While traveling for a longer time it is nice to meet people and to talk, but at some point, it gets also tiring. Repeating yourself over and over again about who you are, where do you come from and where have you been and are going next… make you feel like a broken record… So sometimes you just need to be alone for a while and to be able to reflect and just enjoy the moment. Like drinking coffee… to perceive the smell that brings up the good memories of your routine, allowing you to taste the nice soft bitterness from coffee beans, seeing the tree’s brown color while touching the warm ceramic cup. After my morning coffee, I decided to move to Thailand and hit the road again.