Vang Vieng

12/04/18

*sigh*

Day 4 of a hefty virus that I can’t seem to shake. I’ve actually left the bungalow today. I left the bungalow yesterday, but only very briefly for food. It was 38 degrees and I’m not dealing with heat well at all, so had to spend most of the rest of the day lying, semi-conscious, under the air con. We were sure the guesthouse owner thought Elliot had murdered me. We arrived together on Monday, but I hadn’t left the room since, and he kept going out alone to eat and bring back supplies (which we assumed she thought were to cover up the murder). Realistically, she probably assumed, rightly, that I was ill. Regardless, I was going a little stir-crazy, and she was quite pleased to see me emerge yesterday. I’m incredibly grateful that we decided to “treat ourselves” in Vang Vieng with an air-conditioned bungalow (Namsong Bridge Bungalows, I highly recommend), rather than take the within-budget option of a grotty, sweaty hostel dorm bed. The last 3 days could have been significantly worse. Elliot has obviously been an absolute angel, waiting on me hand and foot, and putting up with whatever temperature I require the room to be at any given time (day 1 consisted of me completely engulfed in the duvet, shivering, with the air-con set to 29 degrees).

It’s slighly (very slightly) cooler today, and we’re in a cafe with glorious views over the mountains. We’re supposed to leave Saturday (14th), but we’ve booked an extra two nights here, seeing as we’ve lost a fair amount of time already. Unfortunately the lovely bungalows were fully booked, so we’re going to have to move in to a hostel. Thankfully this is still a private room, we’ve not had to share yet, but we’re booked into a dorm in our next city, Vientiane, so this can be a warm up for that.

So far on our travels, there are several liberating factors I have found worthy of noting:
1) The lack of mirrors
2) Not having access to online shopping, even if I wanted to (I don’t).
3) Wearing the same outfits a thousand times and not caring.
4) Not wearing make up (and no one else wearing it either).
5) The fact that being ill doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, because we usually have nothing booked onwards of our current location, and can always be flexible.

There are really big lizards here, they’re amazing. I love reptiles, and have ALWAYS got excited when I see them on holidays, but Laos has some really massive ones. I always stop to look at them. Elliot has the patience of a Saint.

14/04/18

Will I ever learn? It seems not. On the way back from dinner this evening, we got caught in probably the biggest storm I’ve ever seen. The roads turned to rivers within minutes. It started when we were just leaving the restaurant; Elliot smugly pulled his umbrella out his backpack, but obviously I was unprepared as per usual, and didn’t bring mine. Safe to say I was saturated by the time we got back to the hostel (we moved out of our lovely bungalow today and into the hostel).

Last night we went to Jungle Project; a big party event just outside the town. We went for a drink first, only to find it was happy hour in one of the bigger bars, where they were giving out FREE lao whiskey and mixers for an hour?! Mind blowing, we obviously took advantage. Jungle Project was fabulous.

15/04/18

I have mixed feelings about leaving Vang Vieng. If I hadn’t been so ill, we would have moved on a lot quicker; it’s not a particularly nice town, and if I ignore the surrounding mountains, I could quite easily be back in Kavos, or on the strip of any party island. But then it is a party town, and to be fair it is very different, very liberal. It’s certainly an interesting place, with interesting history. Nevertheless, I’m excited to be moving on to the capital of Laos, Vientiane, if a little stressed at the prospect of having to sort out our Vietnamese visa, flights and accommodation ASAP upon arrival.

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