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Thailand & Laos - December 2016

Vang Vieng

We left Luang Prabang to Veng Vieng on Christmas Eve.

It was a long drive, about seven hours through countryside, villages and mountain roads. We stopped at markets and villages on the way. That week was the New Year week for the Hmong people and we saw many local people dressed in traditional clothes and playing games in their villages. This is an unexpected pleasure to witness this minority event.

Arriving at Veng Vieng, we checked in at the Riverside Boutique Resort. The location of this resort is excellent, having the best view of the river and the mountains on the other side. Our river view room on the first floor offered a picture=postcard view of the swimming pool and gardens below and river and hills on the far horizon exactly as the photo shown here. The suite rooms at the end of the garden wing with their spacious terraces right by the river are a wonderful place to spend a few days.

On Christmas day morning we walked through villages and country roads and visited a local cave hidden deep in the jungle. This cave is not so well known for visitors and we were only one of the three small groups of visitors that morning. The entrance 'fee' was collected by a local man who became our guide, walking with us through the forest and along a dry river bed to make sure we did not lose our way, and then pointing out the entrance ot the caves which was not obvious. Inside the cave he lit our way with torches, pointing out one or two danger points and gave us our own torches when he stopped at the cave Buddha at the end of a dark tunnel.

Walking is good in Vang Vieng through villages and countryside. You will see local people and children riding their bicycles along the paths and country roads. You can also hire bicycles from hotels or local shops. There are also other activities in the area such as boating, kayaking along the river etc.

We left Vang Vieng by road for about 3-4 hours drive to Vientiane and checked in at the City Inn. This hotel is right in the centre within walking distance of the waterfront, shopping and restaurants etc. We use this modest but very comfortable hotel in our Standard hotels category.

We flew out next day to Krabi, Thailand.

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Hmong celebrating New Year
Village children

Riverside Boutique Resort
Riverside Boutique Resort.
Vang Vieng
Cave Buddha