Vang Vieng

I Continue From Here – Thakhek Loop

Backpacking Laos: Day 011 (17-Feb,2020) & Day 012 (18-Feb-2020)


Vang Vieng


I reached Vientiane at around 6AM. We had to wait for about an hour before boarding the mini bus to Vang Vieng. I reached there by noon and found my way to Rock Backpacker hostel. Vang Vieng is the favourite place in Laos for Backpackers. At the reception, I met a kind Laotian gentleman. During our conversation, he mentioned that he had recently given up his monk-hood and returned back to a normal life. I was curious to know why. When asked, he hesitated to give an honest answer. He told me instead that there are merits and demerits in both style of lives. His uncle returned first and he followed. I did not probe further. 


At one of the street stalls, I had a Banh Minh for lunch. It was delicious. 

I walked to the orange bridge and the bamboo bridge. 

After a long walk, I went to the night market where I tried some local delicacies. 


Next morning (18th Feb), I rented a semi-automatic bike for 40K KIP at Kai motorbike rentals and headed out to explore the countryside. 

My first stop was Nam Xay view point. I had seen this place on my traveller friend Jon’s Instagram page. I had to park my bike at the base and trek up a small hill. The trail is well defined and has resting areas along the way. 

At the summit are two bikes. In his picture, Jon had stood on the bike. I tried to replicate his pose (The picture above). A Laotian man who was driving a group of tourists was kind enough to take my picture. The view from here is spectacular. 


While descending, I met a Canadian young man of Vietnamese origin. We rode to one of the blue lagoons. There are a few. Since they give life jackets, I decided to dive into the water. 

I then rode to Golden flower cave. This was a very interesting ride. The route passed through rural and deserted areas. In between, I had to open a bamboo gate to pass through. 

At the cave entry, there was a really old man. He opened the gate and let me in. The place was completely dark. I had to switch on the flashlight on my cellphone to navigate through. I reached the beautiful rock formation at the centre of the main area. From here, several paths diverged. I did not want to loose my way. Honestly, I was scared. I was not able to see anything. So, I headed back. 


When I came out, the old man had disappeared. This place was deserted and I quickly rode away.  On my way, I came across two little boys who were playing on a toy vehicle made of motorcycle tyres connected by a rod. They showed me how it worked by pushing it up the ramp and rolling back. 

I reached Pha Ngern at around 4pM. It was a bit too late to trek up the hill, but I decided to do it anyway. The route passes through a dense forest and climbs up a karst. There are some wooden shelters at the top. At the summit, I met a few locals doing a photo shoot with their traditional costumes. When requested, they were happy to pose for me as well. 

By the time I began to descend, the sun had set and it was getting difficult to find the way. I reached the based at around 6:45PM. 


I rode back to Vang Vieng and visited the night market again before retiring for the day.