DAY 5: LUANG PRABANG / VANG VIENG
It’s our last morning in Luang Prabang. 🙁 We planned to take the 8am bus to Vang Vieng but Celine and I woke up late. When we woke up, Mine and Det were both ready to go. We took a shower real quick, packed our bags and checked out. We decided to take things easy and just have a nice breakfast and take a later trip. We left our bags at the guest house and headed back to the riverside. The view is definitely much nicer in the morning. We found Sarika Restaurant because we saw that they have American Breakfast. After 5 days, we’ve all missed the usual eggs and bacon breakfast. It wasn’t that expensive though, I think it was just 35,000 kip with a choice of fresh fruits or juice / coffee or tea. The bread was super abundant! I think they sliced one whole piece of baguette for each person. HAHA. I ordered pancakes with mine so when I finished it, I stole some of their bread. HAHA. It was a really nice breakfast. What a great way to end our stay in Luang Prabang. 🙂
We then went back to our guest house and took our bags. We were easily able to get a tuktuk when we got to the main road. We paid the same price – 40,000 kip for the 4 of us. The rain got heavier though. 🙁 We bought our tickets for 85,000 kip – much cheaper than expected. It also comes with free lunch. I think we made a good decision to just buy ticket from the bus station and not from a travel agency (even when there were lots near our guest house) as we heard that some passengers got scammed. It looks like the only option now going to Vang Vieng is a mini bus, unlike previously when you have the option to take a sleeper bus, bus or van. We decided to just take our bags with us instead of placing them on the roof of the mini bus. It’s raining and I don’t feel re-assured that my stuff won’t get wet. Anyway, our bags are smaller compared to other backpackers. There are assigned seats though but we’re lucky to have been able to switch with this European girl so Celine and I were able to sit together.
Ok, the ride to Vang Vieng was super looooooong. We were expecting 5 1/2 hours but the ride took 7 hours. I was quite comfortable though and was able to get some shuteye. Except for that time when I had this strong need to use the toilet. I swear, I hated the driver so much then cause I felt like he had a huge disregard for our bladders. LOL. Also, since it was raining, we experienced a delay due to minor landslides by the side of the road. Some bigger vehicles like trucks can’t pass and had to stop by the side of the road to let smaller vehicles pass. There was 1 toilet break and when we were close to Vang Vieng, we stopped for a bit to get our free lunch at a restaurant by the road side.
We were so relieved when we finally got to the bus station. Ok, we didn’t know there were two bus stops in Vang Vieng! I thought our guest house is super close to the bus station where we were dropped off but then I took a good look around and I don’t see anything that’s similar to what’s on the map. I took a look at the other map we have and figured out that there are two bus stops – North and South – just like in Vientiane. We took a tuktuk going to our guest house instead because there’s no way we’d walk going there after that long-ass mini bus ride. Ok, I think our driver charged us too much. It was 20,000 kip per person. We thought it would be quite far but I think it’s just the same distance from Naluang Bus Station to Sabaidee Guest House. Oh well. We realized that he probably charged us too much cause no one in Vang Vieng actually uses a tuktuk. Everyone just walks cause it’s such a small town. So we forgive him for that. LOL.
We finally checked in at Vinutda Guest House at around 5:00 PM. Our room is super spacious and the view of the sunset from our room is awesome. We had a great view of the karst mountains. There are villas behind our guest house and the view’s really nice, too, if you know what I mean. The location’s great cause we were super close to the river. The beds were huge and was super enough for the four of us. The comforter was really nice, too. (I’m so obsessed with comforters. LOL!) The bathroom’s huge, too and has a hot shower. They just don’t have any free toiletries other than toilet paper, considering that we stayed there for 3 days. Also, in the course of 3 days, we got disappointed by the service each day. Vang Vieng was super lovely but our guest house sucked. Well, more like the owner / people at the guest house sucked. When we checked in, the lady at the front desk just gave us our keys and we had to find our own way to the room. We had some issues with the lights in the bathroom and had we not gone out and looked for her, we wouldn’t have known how the bathroom light works or how to turn the AC on (cause there was no remote, you have to flip a switch on). The next morning, we ordered breakfast from her but she was asking us to go upstairs. Ok, it clearly says on the paper posted on the door that we can order from the front desk. She only took our orders when I told her that. I can’t remember how many times they fucked up our orders. There was never a day when everything would just go smoothly. There was a time that we got locked out of the bathroom and when my friend asked for help, the lady just gave her a bunch of keys and we had to try all of the keys to see which one can open the door. This was a huge WTF moment for us. We didn’t go to Vang Vieng to freaking play Crystal Maze. LOL. And there’s that huge debacle with our laundry. Ok, it was partly our mistake anyway. We should have canvassed first to see if there are better places outside our guest house and I guess we trusted too much. She didn’t weigh our laundry in our presence so we were shocked when she asked for 90,000 kip during our check out. We were super surprised cause we were expected our laundry to weigh only 3-4 kilos for the 3 of us. I had like 10 pieces of clothes, there’s no way that could have weighed 2 kilos when my entire luggage for this trip is only 6 kilos. Also, they never let it dry outside. The entire time, they were just in the hallway, and we had to take our clothes ourselves and let them dry inside our room. Last, they never cleaned our room during our entire 3-day stay. My friend had to get a broom from the hallway and swept the floor of our room herself. They also never get the cups we used for coffee or tea, we had to go put them out ourselves. We had to ask them for fresh towels everyday. Seriously. Worst service ever! It’s a shame cause the guest house itself is good, but needs better people.
For some reason, I was very tired that evening so while my friends went out to have dinner. I stayed in bed and slept the night away~ Also, the weather was really gloomy. It was raining, and foggy the entire time. 🙁
DAY 6: VANG VIENG
The next day was no different. We woke up to the sound of the rain and the view of the karst mountains barely visible. We decided it might not be a good day for tubing. LOL. We ordered breakfast from the front desk and ate our breakfast in our lovely veranda. After a while, we decided to go out and hang out at this place were people just eat, and watch Friends all day. It’s one of those places where you can actually lie down while watching. We couldn’t really do any outdoor activities so we spent our morning there.
We then headed to River Hills Restaurant for lunch. I love this place! Again, the view is amazing! Well, actually, the view is just awesome from wherever you are. It was just a little cloudy and kept raining. 🙁 The food here is super delicious and not pricey! I had pizza and pinacolada. Since we’re not going to be able to do tubing, I decided I’d just start drinking early. LOL. Before going back to our guest house, Celine and I craved for some cake so we went to Luang Prabang Bakery. Boy, we were so disappointed at the taste of their cheesecake. It’s super dry.
Because it was a slow day for us, we actually got to walk around town. We found out that just near our hotel, there’s a good view of the villas on the other side of the river. Also, we took pictures on this bridge going that side. Also, there’s this cute resto-bar overlooking the river but was still closed in the afternoon. We planned to go there in the evening but when we came back, it looked like it wasn’t a happening place so we decided against it.
Since we were on staycation the whole day, I spent my afternoon planning our 2-day trip in Kuala Lumpur. I love maps. <3
In the evening, we went out for dinner and decided, we wanted to go to Sakura Bar for a night out. It was a huge failure though. Wahahaha. Due to the rain, I think a lot of tourists have left Vang Vieng during the day. We were there at around 8:00 PM (cause they had free drinks for an hour) but there weren’t a lot of people. I didn’t even get to finish my rum coke. I felt sleepy 30 minutes into our “night out”, we all agreed to walk back to the guest house before 9:00 PM. We also agreed that we’ll try again tomorrow. LOL. When we got to our guest house, our first order of business was tune in to CNN and wait for Hilary Clinton’s live broadcast. I swear, very #TitasofLaos.
Surprisingly, I actually slept quite late that night. I was just on the internet the whole time, while in the comfort of a huge bed and warm blanket.