At my guesthouse in Luang Prabang:
Me: Hi I think I'm leaving today (it's been 3 days since I've been trying to leave and just couldn't)
The lady at my guesthouse: Ok so you pay now fo 8 nights.
Me: 8 NIGHTS!!! No way I've only been here 1-2-3....8 nights wow!
I was only planning on spending a few days in Luang Prabang, then making my way north and then back south to end up in Vientiane (the capital) to catch my next flight. However I just ended up staying here. I met so many nice and interesting people, we all ended up having dinner together every night, mountain biking, drinking and bowling and ....yes so I ended up staying.
My next stop was and still is Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng is the Sodom and Gomorrah, the Amsterdam, the gay village.....of south east asia or at least what I've seen so far. I got here a little sad to have left Luang Prabang and it's just not pretty here. The main activity is tubing and lying around watching Friends or family guy which plays in every restaurant...
This use to just be a bus stop over between Luang Prabang and Vientiane where people came to spend the night. Then they discovered that there is Opium and other substances to do here and slowly it became much more popular as a backpacker destination.
It's an interesting place, the limestone mountains around are pretty and I loved rock climbing. When I first got here I got together with my peeps and as we were sitting having a beer, 2 guys run into the hotel and one spews everywhere and his friend is like, Oh sorry we've been tubing for 3 days and he just can't take it anymore....
Everyone lies around vegging watching TV, either hungover or tripping on opium which is on the menu and comes as a shake or a happy pizza or happy ending. Tubing is essentially bar hoping on the water, you get a tube and float down from bar to bar kinda like frosh week but without the education part. There are swings you can jump off which are sooo much fun...mud volleyball....mud tug of war and a whole lot of debauchery. It's fun and I had a good time don't get me wrong but wow it's so intense here.
I met some travelers who have been here for weeks just because they're always too hungover to get on the bus. Some guy has lived here for 10 years and just tubes all day every day. It can be dangerous only because alcohol and moving river water is not always the best combo. Like anything else it has to be taken for what it is and this is a party place. You can't come here and be offended. It's not really my scene but I have had a great time and we're a big group hanging out, climbing, tubing and partying together but 4 days is enough.