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Sunday, October 23, 2011

25 Days of Laos (Part 2)

This is a journal of our 25-day trip around Laos on a rented Honda FTR that we fondly called Mustafa. It starts with a long bus ride from Hanoi to Laos and ends with a longer bus ride back to Hanoi.

Day 2: Vientiane to Vang Vieng
The second day started with a nice breakfast at Joma's, a cafe located beside Jules Motorbike where we rented our FTR. Outside the cafe was a man who seemed to be selling bracelets. When we got out, the man tied one around my wrist while chanting some prayers. I tried to pay him but he didn't accept my money. I was quite amazed to see someone sitting under the heat of sun, giving away bracelets and prayer. And, I wondered what belief motivated him to do that.

After breakfast, we left for Vang Vieng which is around 108 kilometers from Vientiane. Instead of taking the usual route to Vang Vieng, we went through the more scenic Route 10 which passed Don Noun, Tha Ngon, Hat Klang, Phong Mang, Na Pheng, Keune Kang Kagnoung, Phonemy and Phonhong. It was a pretty easy ride. The roads were relatively flat and straight. It was a very long trip though. So, sore bums didn't come as a surprise at the end of the trip.

On the way to our destination, we stopped by a viewpoint where I took some pictures of the river below. Our next stop was a family-owned guest house and restaurant by a bridge. The food was really good -- We had fish lap and sticky rice. 

We had a few more stops before we reached the Pha Tang Resort which is 17 kilometers north of Vang Vieng. Located beside a river, this serene and quiet place is a contrast to Vang Vieng's party atmosphere. For around $12, we got to stay in a beautiful rustic, bungalow. Since we had a long drive, around eight hours, dinner and sleep was all we needed.

River Restaurants

Life In The Countryside

Beautiful Mountains

Monks on Bikes

Free Range Cows

A Peaceful Spot

Cows In A Line

A Really Huge Bug


Elephant Deco in the Restaurant

Seats By the River

The Temple On The Other Side

The Bridge By the Restaurant

Really Interesting Decoration

Fish Laap

Served With Cucumber and String Beans

Back on the Road Again!

The Most Uphill Part of the Trip

Vang Vieng

Be Ready To Dodge Cows!

Pha Tang Resort's Welcoming Committee

Where We Stayed For The Night

Quick Travel Tips

We rented the Honda FTR from Jules Classic Rental. The rent was reasonable and it included loads of assistance from the rental shop. It was so nice to know that they have affiliates around Laos who could assist us if we encounter any problems with our bike.

We stayed at the Pha Tang Resort for around $12 a night. The rooms are really beautiful and well-decorated. Being a family-owned place, the service was amazing and the people were warm and friendly. Try not to order too much when you're here -- The portions are huge.

My boyfriend got his map from GT-Rider. It's really useful because it gives you an idea of what the terrain would be like. 

The Journey Continues:

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