Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rope Swing Paradise

Vang Vieng puts all other rope swings to shame. There must be eight or so wings, the tallest of which is so high that when I stood on the platform my knees were shaking and I thought I would vomit. I was pleased when I conquered my fear and dropped from the platform, swung through the air, and plunged into the Nam Song River.

I left Vang Vieng briefly to visit the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan. The jars were a cool site to see with lots of rolling hills around but I'm questioning if it was worth the amount of money I had to spend and the seven hour bus ride each way to get here.

The buses in Laos are amazing for their views as long as you don't get car sick (thank goodness for Gravol). The roads bend and turn as they attempt to cling to the impossibly steep mountains, and the bus itself has to always be ready to weave around a water buffalo or a stray dog, tourists sit with their noses pressed to the glass in awe of the scenery.

Last night the gentleman in the seat in front of me was carrying some interesting cargo on the bus; an AK-47. I noticed it when I was getting back on the bus after eating dinner and he got on behind me, as I was sitting down I saw him lay the weapon against the wall. I wasn't scared because I read that it's fairly common here but it was startling at first to see the barrel of that gun. Though I was surprised that later on he got off the bus for a smoke break and left his weapon unattended.

Tonight I brave the buses again back to Vang Vieng.

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