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7. Riding The Rails: Vang Vieng

From a quartet we’d been reduced to a trio, not that mattered much as we all had traveled in various combinations before with usually the same hilarious experiences.

A quarter to three we arrived at Vang Vieng Station, David had left the train at Luang Prabang an hour earlier.

For Vang Vieng, I had prepared myself and selected a guesthouse, so at least we had a name to tell the driver!

The station wasn’t that far out of town and a little later we were dropped off in front of something that looked suspiciously like a luxury hotel with prices in US dollars!

At the reception they told us that the guesthouse was gone, replaced by their fancy hotel...

'Would we like a room, special promotion!'

'No thanks', we departed and very quickly found a more budget-suitable place: Khamphone Guesthouse.

This of course had to be celebrated with a small beer-tasting session!

Well fortified by this liquid meal we set off on a walk through town, wandered towards the river, crossed a rickety bridge, returned via a slightly better one, and continued exploring.

After a while, we decided that a drinking stop was in order before dinner and discuss our impressions so far.

Unfortunately, these were mostly negative, we considered this place a dump, despite the fantastic surrounding countryside for which Vang Vieng is rightly famous.

The high number of tourist-related shops (activities, massage, restaurant, hotel, rental, guesthouse, etc.) combined with an overall shabby appearance made us seriously doubt whether we should bother with another night here…

A short walk brought us to the riverside and just by sheer luck we entered a tourist eatery BUT without music:

Green Restaurant.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love music, have a ridiculously large collection, and am listening to Wes Montgomery while writing this, but at times I prefer not to listen to any.

The restaurant had a large terrace with great views of the Karst mountains in the distance and the sounds of insects, chickens, and assorted fowl provided a perfect background soundtrack.

Checking out the menu

The food was a bit different from what we expected, but still very acceptable, especially with some beer Lao to wash it down.

This way the day ended on a positive note we all agreed!

To be continued:

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