After almost one and a half week in Nong Khai, it is time to leave. It is with mixed feelings I do this. This was my third visit to Nong Khai and Pantawee Hotel and there I really feel that I am home. However it is time to leave. With the experience from last time, that I crossed the Thai-Lao Bridge no 1. This time I had help to do all the documentations, in a hope to cross the Thai-Lao border easier. Nothing wrong with the documents, but it took an awful long time to pass the border. And in my mind, the Lao authorities have not learned anything since I last time visited this place two years ago. To make a long storey short, I finally passed through. Then I have a 150 kilometres long minibus trip to Vang Vieng. Since I have been in Vientiane before and no more to see there, so I decided to go directly to Vang Vieng, a 150 km further north of Vientiane. When I was sitting in the minibus, I saw very much of a farming landscapes passing through and very much the same scenery as on the Thai side of the Mekong River. But in the last 20 or 30 kilometres the natures changes dramatically, it became wilder. The nature became more mountainous and the road became more winding and sometime like a serpentine. In the afternoon I finally arrived to Vang Vieng and rather quickly I found my guesthouse, the Thavonsouk Hotel & Resort in the outskirts of Vang Vieng. When I have paid the guesthouse for two nights, so was my pocket empty of Lao Kip, so my first priority was to go to nearest ATM for more cash money. Then I also have had a small sightseeing of Vang Vieng. And since my god, Mr ATM says yes to me and giving me the money that I asked for, I am pleased.
Vang Vieng is not big so it is possible to explore the town by foot. Vang Vieng reminds very much of Pai. And just like Pai, Vang Vieng is just a small town there backpackers coming to. I saw many bars, restaurants and guesthouses. Otherwise Vang Vieng is not anything special, the actions or activities take place outside of Vang Vieng, such as trekking, rock climbing, rafting and tubing on the Nam Song River. Tubing is when a swimmer floating downs the river on a car inner tyre. Another thing that I noticed when I was walking around the town was that the world economic crises, obvious never came here. The town is booming and I saw several new hotels under construction. Another similarity with Pai is, that they booth have a “drug romantic” shimmer. Pai have the “bamboo village” on the other side of Pai River. Here in Vang Vieng the “bamboo village” is situated on a small island in the Nam Song River.