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Working in Vang Vieng

by Tara

Today, we watched a guy fall out of a tuk-tuk because he was so high and/or wasted he couldn't control his body. Then, some of his friends (in a similar stupor) staggeringly dragged him and themselves across the street to their hotel. Elsewhere in town, partiers abound, shirtless, drunk, covered in body paint, or passed out in front of the TV at "bucket bars" and opium lounges. This town is depressing.

"Each time a young Australian woman strolls down the street in a bikini, a bearded American smokes a joint on a guest-house terrace, or a group of Koreans tumbles drunkenly out of a restaurant, it saps a little more of the essence of a town like Vang Vieng."

Brett Dakin, author of Another Quiet American

On the plus side, Vang Vieng is big by Lao standards, which means we're able to find western food, something we've been increasingly looking forward to after a day or two of noodle soup. Here, we found the "Luang Prabang Bakery" a great place that serves delicious pastries and chicken strips. We spent most of our time there today writing.

Vang Vieng Tuk Tuk

Besides working at the bakery, eating our way through their supply of delicious treats, and typing through our eighty-journal-strong backlog, we went for a few strolls through town, playing with the many puppies that make their home on the sidewalks.

Tyler & Vang Vieng Doggie Tara & Vang Vieng Doggie Tara

In other news, Tyler is still sick, so we'll stay one more day so he can hopefully recover a bit more.

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I know you are coming to the end of your long adventure and I wanted to thank you for allowing me to ride along in your journey. Through your stories and pictures, I have visited places I will never see in my life. I am truly grateful for the work you guys put into your journal. I hope to see it in book format someday. I will be one of the first to purchase it. :)
Posted by Kelly on April 22nd, 2011 at 3:36 PM
I'm just pleased I got to see Vang Vieng in 2000, when it was still a sleepy town with only 3 guesthouses and a couple of restaurants, it must be aweful now...

Good luck
Posted by Shane on April 23rd, 2011 at 2:04 PM
Kelly - Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment! Especially as we sit here in Bangkok writing day after day after day, it does a world of good to hear that our work means something to someone other than us. :-) We are so happy that our journal was able to have a positive impact on your life! We'll keep you posted on the book!

Shane - Yeah, consider yourself lucky! It's a shame about Vang Vieng, but as soon as you leave town, everything goes back to being nice and quiet again. I just feel bad for the people who live there who remember how their village used to be before all the crazy foreigners showed up.
Posted by Tara on April 25th, 2011 at 2:07 AM