Trekking - Caving - Kayaking

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Laos

After having a quite New Years Eve we decided to do a two day trip around Vang Vieng on January 2nd. We were lucky again with the group, just two more. Our guide was named Wong and had a really good English.

The first day we went uphill. These treks reminded us a lot of Camaron Highlands in Malaysia. Steep and slippery rocks, small rivers were on our way. Some were dried out cause of dry season, otherwise we had to take shoes of and walk the cool water.

Two caves were due on the first day. The first was right in the beginning and is called Elephant cave. The story about this cave is a little wired and long so we skip that here.

On top of the hill it was a fantastic view and the end of this trail was just amazing. We had to walk trough a cave to get to a place called Secret Eden. A little bending, little crawling and there we were. The view was just astonishing and the name honors the place.

7 hours later we walked through a village of Hmonk-people but they did not were the traditional clothes like in Sapa / Vietnam.  They live from their own farming. When we meet a group of boys and men they invited us to see a traditional Hmong-game. This game is with some metal spinner and every player had a stick with a 1 m long rope on it. They put the rope around the metal and twist it. The other players try to hit this twisting metal from about 5 to 10 meters away by throwing there own metal out of their rope. This is not the best explanation but you might understand….

It is funny to see the living villages in Asia. Not just kids but chickens, dugs, cows and dogs. They run around everywhere with the kittens, you can feel the pulse of live. It opens your heart to see so much new born live. It ain’t like home where you just have a small group of kids. Here, like in Cambodia and Vietnam, are so many of them.

To get to the place to stay the night we had to cross the river with a boot made out of one tree. This boat gained water all the time so our captain (this time a woman) had to clear it of water. One by one we crossed the river. Before we could have a shower Micha had to fix a problem with the pipes to that the water could run. This was a totally basic accommodation. Mattresses on the floor and paper-thin walls what we just had to experience as the local people started a party at 1.30 am.

A little bit tired we started the second day on kayaks. The cool water refreshed us quick and the landscape was – again – just breath taking. Every now and then we stopped to see caves or having lunch at the eco farm. The first cave this day was taking your mind of cause it was half way flooded. We had to walk to water high to your crotch (for Nadine up to here stomach, hehe). To get out of the cave we had to crawl on our bellies. At the exit we found a big spider. Of course we took a picture. You can see these pictures if you register.

To get to the end of our kayac trip we had to pass the Tubing headquarter. Tubing is written BIG in Vang Vieng. For people who don’t know what this is: grab a tube from a truck and cruise down the river. You get a lot of alcohol and swings where you can jump into water. This is not always safe, sharp stones are in the water and many tourists hurt themselves. There are about 5 to 20 drunken tourists who die each year.

Well, we just enjoyed the landscape and the kayaking down the river. This was one of the best trips we had in the last three month! We planned to relax another day and do a one day climbing before we go up north. But Nadine got ill so we went a day early to Luang Prabang. Maybe we can to a little rock climbing here.

Accomodation: Viangvilay Guesthouse

Price: 50000 kip (US $6), double room with bathroom and TV

Comment: very clean and nice helpful staff