Got my first taste of the rough and winding Laos roads, seeing people with guns at the side of the road did not do my nerves any favours but the scenery was great. On arrival in Vang Vieng I got probably the best value room ever, 2 big beds with aircon and private bathroom all for the equivalent of 3 Pounds 30 pence a night. That wouldn't buy a pint and a half of beer in the pub back home.
Had loads of problems with viruses on my digital camera memory card and memory stick that would reoccur several times later during the trip. Didn't do much the first night but did bump into 3 from Ireland in a bar that I had met in Laung Prabang. Everywhere seemed closed by 11:30pm so after that the streets were deserted.
After coming from a great place like Laung Prabang the next place you go will never be as good. Vang Vieng seemed a bit of a tourist trap, there were loads of restaurants with the exact same photocopied menu apart for the name on top. Also everywhere seemed to be showing repeats of Friends !!!!!!!!!!! American sit coms sit firmily at the top of my "most hated things on TV" list.
The main activity in the town was Tubing and since I can't swim and hate water that was out for me. Every conversation with anyone else seemed to revolve around Tubing which put me off the town even more. Less than 24 hours after arriving I had got my bus ticked out of there.
Spent the final afternoon heading for the caves but the hand drawn and badly photocopied map I got from the travel agent might as well been a map of anywhere. By the time I got to the bridge it was dark and time to turn back.
At night I got talking to a bloke from Leicester in the guest house and we went round town for a couple of beers. It turned out he drank in the Vic in Coalville on a semi regular basis. Another example of where ever you go in the world you always meet someone who lives near you. We later went to a place well off the main road near the river called the bucket bar. It was packed full of people and open until late. That was twice in 2 weeks I had found the best of the nightlife the night before I was due to leave.
To be honest I should have given Vang Vieng at least one more day.