snippets of blackwings life

Viang Vien

After some days without blogging… I’m back to it :) Internet connectivity in Laos, especially in Vian Vieng was a nightmare… Slow, unreliably and really expensive – So I decided not to waste time by blogging, but for chilling out instead…

Mountain ViewSo, let’s get to the details:I left Luang Prabang by minibus – simply because all regular busses were sold out… Grr. So I had to take the more expensive, less comfortable and crappy option… Result: Squeezed into a mini bus for almost 7 hours in a bumpy ride through the Laotian mountains…

SunsetSo I reached Viang Vien in the late afternoon and the first hassle was to get a TukTuk to the centre… because the minibus station is somewhere 3km outside the town. So after hard bargaining we had them at 5000 kip per person… I took the Doukhoun guesthouse in the centre – which was a good option for 40000 kip per night. Clean room, own shower and pretty quiet.

Tubin' PeopleOn the next day, I went kayaking – instead of Tubing. Tubing, this is the thing, Viang Vien is world-famous for. It basically means: Floating down a river, stopping in any bar on the way, getting dead drunk in the early afternoon and doing artistic swings and slides into the water… Yes, perfectly right for highschool graduates – But I felt a little too old for that, so I decided to go kayaking. This finally turned out to be a better option – Simply because the river had low water, because of dry season, resulting in an almost non existing current.

MountainsBut: Kayaking was fun – mostly because of watching the unmotivated drunk people in their tubes trying to fasten the process of tubing down :) Besides that, I did some tubing in a cave, which was quite amazing. The surrounding nature is great – High mountains and everything really green.

Bucket barOn the last bar I met some climbers, especially Geordie from Canada… Lucky me, because he had all gear with him and invited me to join him for the next day. So I rent some shoes at Green Discovery and we got back to the “Sleeping Wall” the next day. The funny part was: That spot was installed by Volker Schoeffl from Bamberg…

Climbing itself was wonderful – The routes ranging from 4+ to something in the 9th grade were perfectly bolted and nicely located… I lead some of the 6+/7- tracks successfully and all in all, we had a great day. Finally in the late afternoon we decided to take the next day off and go back for climbing the day after.

Mountainbiking.Actually, I did not take the day off – I chose mountain biking instead (to kill some different muscle). Flo from Bremen, who I met while climbing joined me for that tour. We started really early in the morning (8am) to catch the “cold” air in the morning. The day resulted in a full day tour of around 50km over bumpy roads including visits of several caves.

Cavin'I spent the last day with climbing again – But way more relaxed than the first time. All in all: Viang Vien has a lot of activities to offer: If you prefer to get drunk: There is tubing, the bucket bars and loud techno music all night long (and even magic or happy shakes…). If you prefer sports: Climbing, caving, kayaking and mountain biking is a good choice. But: This place is quite expensive when it comes to food and internet access.

filed in laos, on tour

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