I hereby declare Vang Vieng safe. Safe from messy river parties, senseless drinking, and noisy youths. For the backpackers have moved on.
The main town of Vang Vieng is still very touristy, but in a way that caters to the average traveller. It’s very much like Thailand’s tourist towns. Packed with travel companies selling similar day trips and activities, bike rental shops, massage parlours, restaurants, and street hawkers. There’s nothing charming about it.
The only thing worth hanging around this area for is the sandwich. The bread was wonderfully hot and crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. It’s the perfect baguette. Sorry Francophiles, but the French baguette is just too hard for my Asian gums. I just prefer my bread chew-able as opposed to stone-like.
Food was a big part of this leg of the trip. We visited the Organic Mulberry Farm under June’s recommendation, thinking it was just a farm. Turns out that it has a restaurant attached to it that served some of the best Asian food I’ve ever had. Our first dinner there blew our minds, and we ended up going back the next 2 days. We ordered quite a wide variety of dishes from their menu, and 95% of them were a hit with all of us.
The first thing we tasted caught me completely off guard. Goat cheese. Something I understood to be pungent, and stink of goat. But what ended up in my mouth was a mild, smooth, and creamy cheese that melted away easily. Read about the farm’s goat project, and how they produce the cheese by hand in a 3-day process.
We visited the goat house, the source of the cheese’s milk. The first thing that struck me when we approached it was that it didn’t stink. Not one bit! It brought me so much joy to see how incredibly well the goats were taken care of. They were having their breakfast of fresh leaves when we dropped by. With a diet that organic, it’s no wonder that they don’t smell like typical farm goats. Nothing about them was ordinary. They had the softest fur, enjoyed human affection, and had excrement that didn’t smell. Amazing what love and good food can do!
Besides stuffing ourselves silly at the organic restaurant, we spent our time in Vang Vieng exploring its outskirts. Places where June found that were free of mad crowds. We were totally fine with skipping the famous Blue Lagoon even though it’s a must-see. Because we all know what happens with these famous spots. They get spoilt by crowds, and we’d rather have some peace and quiet somewhere else.
Then we zipped off to find Tham Chang cave, which had a gorgeously lush entrance.
Laos has been such an adventure. This is one of those trips that I went under-prepared, with no expectations, and ended up loving this country. I now have so many beautiful memories of our time spent in this forgotten country. I’ll be back for Luang Pabrang next!
I’ll end this post with the saddest part of our trip: when we were down to the last spoonfuls of fish fried rice which we packed from Vang Vieng all the way to Vientiane because we knew we would miss it so much once we left that organic restaurant behind.