Friends, Pizza, Backpackers- Oh my!

Vieng Vien. How to describe it… It’s a back packer’s haven (maybe even heaven?) in the middle of nowhere, Laos. The streets are not paved in gold; in fact they are not even paved at all. There are about a dozen café/restaurants with outdoor seating. The seating could more accurately be described as lounging. All the tables are aimed at one or more television screens playing non-stop episodes of Friends. There is very little variation from restaurant to restaurant as far as the menu goes. You can get Lao food and many types of western food. Each dish is hit or miss. (I think Lauren missed for pretty much every meal.) There were even happy menus off of which I decided against ordering. Here is a picture of one menu, but you might need to read Hebrew to understand it. Maybe not.
The first day we spent just associating ourselves with the village and founding a nice room with an aircon and hot water.
Day two we went a’ tubin’ down the river. We went just down the road to a little shop with inner tubes. Only three bucks to risk drowning, it was great. We paid an extra buck for a water proof bag. They loaded us up and our tubes in one of those funny truck things I’ve written about before. They drove us to the next village over which took 30 minutes or so. A Brit and an Ozzie were with us. It was a good time. Here are a couple photos which you can see on my picture page, or heck, why not here?

The Brit and the Ozzie were so funny. They were a couple that were still in college. They had a funny relationship I think. At one point the girl was being attacked by some weird bug and bailed off her tube. She was trying to splash water hoping that the bug would fly away. She was not very successful and meanwhile the rest of us were floating down the river. She was screaming, “Come help me!” to her boyfriend. His response was something I’ll never forger. “I can’t- I’m navigating an obstacle!” Add an Ozzie accent and it’s priceless.
Well long story short (mainly a long trip), four hours later I was as pink as a lobster and burnt to a chard.
At this point in the trip, we decided not to further explore Laos. It was a long trip already, a few days in each city and Lauren had to be back soon to teach.
Um…. what else… well I would recommend the city as a base point to do treks and other day trips, but unless you like watching Friends and chilling, you might feel a bit bored. We were bored and tired so a day later we packed up and went to the bus station (an old runway that the Americans built when they were there. My guess is that they now use it to smuggle substances out of the jungle to the rest of the world, but that’s just me). Eventually we made it back to Vientiane with enough time to get a sandwich from Joma and catch the bus back to Hue, Vietnam. Thus concludes my journey in Laos.


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