On Friday after our week in Vientiane, a group of us ventured up to Vang Vieng, well-known place to backpackers, for the weekend. That night we went to a “jungle party” as advertised by the hostel but was just a fun group of tiki bars…with fire limbo. On Saturday we did a float down the river. It was like bar-hopping but in a tube, with small tiki bars and stunning views along the way. For dinner we stopped on our walk back from the river and got a sandwich from a street vendor. It was 15,000 kip (~1 USD) and was the size of my face packed with bacon, chicken and veggies.
On Sunday we had a few hours before our van back to Khon Kaen so we got up early and went to the “blue lagoon”. Again, the views were unreal. Someone in our songthaew said “Damn, is this National Geographic cover?” and that’s the best way I can describe it. We only a short time at the lagoon but made the most of it. I took a few runs on the zip line, enjoyed the refreshing water and ventured off to a viewpoint.
Our journey back to Khon Kaen was eventful. The first half of the drive, which was to the border of Lao and Thailand involved a windy bumpy road, which felt like every few feet was a pothole. Luckily, I had a whole bench to myself and endured the four hour ride in a fetal position trying to ignore the nausea and my head banging against the wall. We survived that leg of the trip, crossed the border and made it to Nong Khai bus station where we would get a bus back to Khon Kaen. Once we got there and asked the bus drivers for tickets to Khon Kaen, they told us “Mai” (no) and motioned for us to sleep on the bench. Apparently, there weren’t anymore until 7 a.m. because the bus got into an accident. After some negotiating and talking with someone at CIEE, we were able to hire one of the drivers to get a van to bring us back that night. I got home around 12 a.m., tired but my mind still filled thinking about my favorite weekend of my study abroad trip (so far).