The title is Will's joke, referring to the fact that Vang Vieng, destination number 2 in Laos, is pretty much exactly like Phuket only on a river not a sea and in Laos not Thailand. This little town, which I imagine used to be a peaceful idyll for fishermen and villagers, has turned into a place that exists exclusively for tourists...loud, drunken tourists. We spent only one day in Vamg Vieng. That was enough. But it was a nice day.
We hired pushbikes and road out of town along 'cave road'(this is just what I have taken to calling it because I don't know its real name and it is the road to all the caves) and after a few distractions we eventually found the cave we were looking for, complete with welcoming lagoon at its base. On our way along cave road two little boys decided they didn't really want to walk all the way home so they jumped on the back of our bikes and we rode onward until they jumped off and ran into their respective houses with their respective cheeky grins.After exploring the huge cavern of darkness we started the ride home, but after about 5 minutes the chain on Will's crappy rental bike snapped, so we had to think of another way to get the nearly useless bike home. So what do you do when there are two people and only one bike on which the pedals work? Simple, you connect the two bikes and have a bit of a sit down while your grilfriend pedals you both home! Most of the locals we passed had a good laugh about that...some of them just stared in incomprehension. That was our day, and here are some pictures from it.