Disgustingly touristy, full of English people, all drunk and watching re-run after re-run of 'Friends' in every cafe, bar & restaurant. This town is like Ibiza and is overrun with mouthy 17 year olds on their first holiday without mummy or daddy. Seriously, wtf? And the weird thing is, i've known that all along but felt compelled to see it with my own eyes. Conclusion: Yes, every part is true. Hello the company of annoyance.
The 2 days I was there I rented a motorbike and explored the surrounding countryside - a strange juxtaposition because whilst the town is shit, the surrounding scenery is really great (lots of jagged mountains) - and also did some caving. The caves were really deep (100m+) and with the help of a guide he led me through, except in one cave where you had to wade neck high through water (I was totally unprepared - flips flops, jeans, iPod, non-waterproof bag...) so had to turn back. I think I drove about 100km that day and really enjoyed myself - iPod on shuffle, wind in your face, beautiful landscape... If only I didn't have to return to depressing ville.
Ok now im not saying Vang Viang couldn't have been fun, with the right people it no doubt could have been great (our trekking group dispersed after Luang Prabang), I just wasn't in the mood for an 18-21 package holiday town because that's what it was. "Prude"... "Shhhh".
So now, im back in Luang Prabang (I say whilst kissing the pavement) and will be here for one day before getting a slow boat up the Mekong (takes 2 days) to a place called Houayxai, the Thai/Laos border crossing. By then it will be about the 27th and i'll be on route to Chaing Mai for the 29th. A plan. X