Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tire Tubes, Ziplines and Organic Farms...

What do all of these things have in common? They were all part of a fun-filled trip to Vang Vienne. Once we recovered from our intense bus-trip, we arrived at our guest house on an organic farm in Vang Vienne. The farm was complete with organic fruits, vegetables, goat cheese and mulberry wine...yum! Much needed after city food and grueling travel!

We settled into our dorm-style room where me, Lils, the 2 Aussies and Hulk shared 4 beds, and then headed down to the restaurant for some great eats where we made some friends quickly. Aite, a dutch guy from Holland who was working as a bartender on the farm (one of the stops on the tubing trip) invited us down to the river for the bonfire that he was starting up. We all agreed, and continued our beers and conversation in front of a view that we wished we could see in the darkness of night. A few beers and some dutch cigarettes later, we were ready to turn in. Apparently the Hulk had a bit much to drink, because he wasn't feeling so hot the next morning and missed the float, which was the highlight of the trip!

We rented some tubes (which were actually just inner tire tubes complete with valve and all) and began the infamous float down the river joined by hundreds of other westerners primed with a decent morning buzz. Aite started us off with some Mojitos, and in the water we went! Business owners on the river have strategically figured out that liquor and rope swings and zip-lines seem to go perfectly hand-in-hand and are capitalizing on this noble idea. Without the tubing, the town would be nothing but a few bamboo huts along the river with some stunning limestone scenery. Sad, but fun all the same.

We floated the river for 4 1/2 hours stopping at every bar for a zip or swing launching us into the water sometimes from 30ft in the air. Soooo fun. That night we went to the bar that everyone who floats ends up at and ended the night off nice and late once again. Lils and I took it easy because we knew we were headed north for Louang Prabang early the next morning and didn't want to make that mistake again.

The Aussie uncertian of his sexual orientation had a jealous freak-out when we got back to the room because we were trying to get the shy Hulk to take his shirt off (what...girls just wanna have fun!) and threw a hissy fit! We were glad to get out of there the next morning and be back on our own again after traveling in a herd for the past 3 days.

8:00am and we were off to the bus station in the back of Mr. Tea's school bus (he's the owner of the farm). Another bus ride, another destination..for me this was my second time in Louang Prabang, and I was anxious for Lily to see it because of the phenomenal beauty and shopping. She appreciated it as much as I thought she would, and we met another girl from CA named Emerald who stayed the night with us and decided to trek with us the next day. After a night of great vegetarian buffet and some quick shopping and emailing, we were off to bed to get a fresh start in the morning.

And I think this next bit deserves it's own entry as well. It's like one of those shows that you just keep getting sucked into because they play re-runs back to back, isn't it?