Sunday, January 11, 2009

Travels:Laos. Chang Cave & The Blue Lagoon

Vang Vieng
Day 6
Thursday, 25 December, 08.

*Merry Christmas*!!

Our laundry was piling up, with not many fresh clean clothes left to wear, so we sent a huge bundle to the shop next door to have our clothes washed. 10,000 Kips for 1 kilo. OK. Sounds reasonable enough!

Decided also today, we do what the locals do, forgo the bridge and just cross the river by foot!! The water was shallow enough to do that and so we waddled through the cold river!! Yes, COLD!! It was in the morning, and it was still a little chilly. My foot went numb half way across the river!! Walked on a dirt road when Husband J received a call from family in Sydney to wish us Merry Christmas. Right in the middle of no where, and here we were on the mobile phone to Sydney!! *LOL*! Gotta love technology!

We crossed a bamboo bridge to a lovely area called the Vang Vieng Resort. The famous Chang Cave is in this resort and the gorgeous Blue Lagoon. It's a cool spring with 'blue water' at the foot of the cave - absolutely gorgeous!!

The cave was closed for lunch (!!!), and so we had lunch at a nearby restaurant. The food was ordinary.

The entrance to the cave is 15,000 Kip each, and you have to climb a set of stairs that leads up to the main cavern entrance. A set of stairs = 100+ steps uphill!! I huffed and I puffed, and made it! Whoa, what a workout!!

The Chang Cave is a big cave and easy to explore. No crawling, no dirt, it's already been paved with cement. From the main chamber, you can look over the river valley, and see much of the countryside.

View of the paddy fields from the top of Chang Cave

View of the river valley from Chang Cave

Later that afternoon, we hired a speed boat next to our hotel for 70,000 Kips, to take a tour of the river. It was a blast. The scenery was beautiful, we passed by many river bars, restaurants, places to chill out, saw people tubing down the river, kayaking and at the top, there were river parties, where the river is deep enough for you to dive in!! It was nuts!! Like all of a sudden, bam!! Parties!! Loud music!! People splashing in the water!! That was a scene we didn't anticipate!! The boat ride took an hour and it was bliss!

Came back and had the local pancake (rotee). I had mine with banana and chocolate and it was heaven!! Before we head back to the hotel, we got bus tickets to Luang Prabang on a minivan this time. We walked a bit more, onto the bamboo bridge, across the river and got home. Picked up laundry which cost us 70,000 Kips (7 kilos of clothes?!)!!

For dinner, we stayed in, ordered chicken lab. Whoa!! Loved it!! It tasted much better than the beef lab!! It had shallots, chillies, lemongrass, mint leaves, spring onions and coriander leaves. Wow!! Lab. Yummmmmm...!! Food-wise, Laos has not yet disappoint me..

This has been a good day!