The next morning a mini van picked us up from the Hotel Win in Vientiane and for the princely price of $5 US transported us the 6 hour journey to Vang Vieng backpackers/ drugs capital of Laos and after a very scenic trip we arrived and booked into Inthira Hotel at $20 US a night and set off to explore the village.
Maybe it was the wrong time of year but the bars were quiet and the festival a damp sqib but Gary's Bar was good for a drink and a laugh in the evening after a fairly good meal $5 US at a local restaurant.
The next morning I went off on my own and at Amazing Tours I paid $15 US and at 8 am we set off in a Tuk Tuk to a point 15 KM away and where we walked through the rice fields to see The Elephant caves
Afterwards a short walk brought us to a river where we all climbed into Car Tyre Inner Tubes and with the aid of lamps on our head and ropes to pull ourselves along by we went 500 meters along an underground river which was really good and a great experience. On our return the guides had prepared a meal of bar b q chicken with rice and banana which we scoffed down and prepared for a 5 km truck ride to a point on the river where the group all got into Kayaks to travel the 10 km back to town.
We arrived back at 6 pm just as it was getting dark knackered and wet (I fell in 1 km from the end) but a really good day for only $15 US. The evening was spent down by the river watching the long boat races, the children at the funfair and enjoying cocktails while watching the sunset after which we enjoyed a meal and a beer.
The next day I headed for the northern town of Luang Pabang in a 12 seater mini van at a cost of 110,000 kip just over $12 US.