After what seemed like a short bus ride across a beautiful lush green and sometimes mountainous landscape, we arrive at a bus station just outside of Vang Vieng.
Although it is a short walk into town, most of us are transported by a free tuk tuk to a drop point at Malany Villa.
We decide to go for broke and get a room with air-conditioning, a large bathroom, a queen and a double bed along with a TV for US$10.
I find it a very cool custom that shoes are not allowed to be worn inside the hotel. A rack is provided at the main entrance for them or you can carry them to your room.
From the open lobby of Malany you can easily see some of the picturesque scenery that makes Vang Vieng a popular stop for those traveling to or from Luang Prabang.
From here tubing and kayaking trips can be easily arranged.
As usual the streets are lined with shops and restaurants but there is something strange and unique about many of the restaurants. It seems many of the locals and tourists here are into having friends and old fashioned values while dining.
Jennifer Aniston and Peter Griffin are pretty popular here and you can see them over and over and over again while you are dining.
A Pancake/Crepe making stand.
With all types of combinations available, I choose a fat free, lemon, honey and sugar one. Angelic and delicious, you can bet the farm I'll be back to try a few other tasty combinations.
After our slight and worthwhile delay, we arrive at the riverfront to take in the gorgeous scenery surrounding Vang Vieng. While others enjoy the river for recreation, others use it as a way of life.
For me, it is beautiful and majestic to witness this simple way of fishing as a huge white net is repeatedly cast overboard. I am not sure what is being caught but I never see “the big one that got away”.
All of this makes for a splendid and tranquil end to the day along the riverfront.
As promised, I stop for another fat free sinful delight and get an unexpected surprise. I am offered to share in the dinner of the lady that had earlier made us pancakes.
I am handed a leaf filled with meat, noodles and vegetables along with seasonings that's dripping with an oily dressing. A lettuce leaf type wrap that is not politically or “omg, I'm going to get fat” correct.
After another awesome Lao massage, I wonder how long I can lay here like a marshmallow melting over a campfire before they force me to leave?