Coming to Vang Vieng with no plans besides having the idea that this town is beautiful. It is indeed. From the deck of The Other Side Restaurant, the sunset with the view over the mountains and a few hot air balloons hanging on the air was fantastic. I must say, without the bungalows in front of the river, that could be a perfect picture. Having been in Laos for 3 days, the sunset impressed me every time. Some people were kayaking on the Nam Song River and it craves me to do that too. That led me to book a day tour with AK Home Tours for Zip-lining and Kayaking in Vang Vieng.
I was the first person being picked up at a quarter to 9 in the next morning. It was good to be picked up first because I got my seat reserved before 20 other people joining on board. We were all packed in one two row seat bus and some stood on the outside of the Songthaew. Cosy though! In my mind at that point was filled with excitement because I was about to try zip-lining for the first time. No fear for height but it still seemed scary somehow. The ride took only about 15 minutes and I arrived at the location for zip-lining. After being wrapped with gears and constructed carefully, I was ready for my first go.
The first go is always the most nerve-breaking one. The first route was not so long, probably for people to try out and conquer their fear. When I was at that starting point, I was certainly nervous but the guide kept telling me to make a move. To be honest, you did not have so much time to think once you pull your legs up. I slid off the line and my feet were off the ground. I was not sure if I still got that nerve but my whole body seemed relaxed. Safety did not cross my mind because all I felt was free. It was recklessly amazing sliding off that line and I left the line guiding me. The second I got to the other side, I knew I wanted more. In total, there were 10 tracks. One and a half hours zip-lining, I could conclude, nothing to be scared of at all.
Including in the tour, I gotta see the Water Cave which was a fun experience. The cave itself does not have anything exciting to talk about since it is completely dark. However, the activity which is tubing inside the cave with a head flashlight is heaps of fun. The water was slightly cold but quickly to get used to. With the rope, we all followed the guide entering the cave. People exiting the cave started splashing water to everyone but instead of being annoyed, everyone was very keen on splashing back. Isn’t it something you do when you were little? It was kinda cute and fun. So much laughter and screaming in that cave but I gotta say, I would not enjoy that cave without the tubing activity.
The tour led on to the Elephant Cave which shows the hiding spot for elephants years ago. Now there is a stone that is elephant shaped still standing in that cave. Not much of a caving person, what I found very interesting about this cave would be how they keep an alter inside the cave for people to worship and reading hexagram fortune. I got number 19 but seems like it is a lucky number so that there was no read paper in the box anymore.
Just few minutes ride from those two caves, we arrived at the spot where we were going to take a kayak and ride it along the Nam Song River. That day was a sunny and warm day. Kayaking on the water was a perfect thing to do. We had 5km to kayak and actually I wished we could have had more time on that river. The stream was quite strong which it did not require me to paddle. However, it was not easy sometimes because the kayak got stuck on big rocks. The breeze was chilled and the sun was warm. Some people were tubing around, some tubbed to bars and enjoyed some drinks, some fell asleep in the tub. Music from some bars were loud to invite people to stop by for some fun. Tubbing has been a very popular thing in Vang Vieng and bars along the Nam Song River used to be big and various. However, they have been shut down unfortunately so the party scene was not very exciting anymore.
So then we kayaked pass the restaurant which I had sat the day before looking over the kayaking group. And soon was the end of the kayak route. I got picked up from there to head over to the last destination: Blue Lagoon. Actually, I had been so excited to see the Blue Lagoon since it looked amazing on photos. However, it did not look like the way it is on the internet. Naturally, it is a popular tourist attraction which made it packed of people when I got there. Everyone was jumping off the swing and the tree. I could imagine the place would look dreamy without tourists.
I am not fond of taking tours but sometimes when you only have one day to spend and know nothing about it, you have to make the best out of it. Maybe some hiking next time, but I am glad that that tour was a fun experience. I mean, it was pretty crazy being on that zip-line and the good time kayaking on the river. Also, I met so many people on the same tour and never complain about making more acquaintances.