As a rock climber, I try to squeeze in some rock climbing in my travels. Hence, I’ve been rock climbing in Phi Phi Island and of course, Laos was no exception.
Hence, when I heard that you can actually rock climb, I jumped at the chance. At USD20 a day with all equipment included, rock climbing wasn’t a cheap endeavor. But it’s now or never.
In the end, when you’re traveling, you wonder whether you should save some pennies in exchange for great memories. It’s just not worth it. 🙂
My traveling partner wanted to go tubing so we went our separate ways. Consequently, she went biking, caving and then tubing, which are other alternatives in fun Vang Vieng.
Isaac and I signed up the day before and rose up bright and early to do some climbing action. But first, my friend and I dropped by the Luang Prabang Bakery for some colorful muesli yogurt and hot Laos coffee.
Crunchy, sweet and tasty, their muesli’s the best I’ve ever tasted with just the right amount of tang. I had the same breakfast for three consecutive days — it was that good! And reasonably priced at around 18,000 kip. Not bad for a breakie that fills you up.
After boarding a tuktuk, we arrived by the river where we crossed via a rickety wooden long boat. After a 3 minute walk, we were there. Limestone peas are usually in a single area, and usually runs between October and May. As a result of limited climbing routes, you get to meet other climbers who booked from other agencies as well, and it can get a bit crowded.
Regardless, every climbing experience is an adventure, and it was great trying out Vang Vieng walls. The walls there were darker in color, had more cracks and even had a stable roots hanging off the edge that you can use as a hand/foot hold.
The walls weren’t really exceptionally high at less than 20 meters, but they can be as difficult as you want them to be.
Of course, there were also harder routes by the side for the courageous, but I shied away from them. As I’ve said, I don’t really like the feeling of falling. 🙂
For lunch, we ate chicken fried rice by the riverside. As Isaac’s a strict vegan and refuses to even eat food that has been fried at the same pan as the meats’, he was subjected to a sad meal of white rice, ketchup and raw vegetables.
Being a vegan sucks.
We spent the entire day till my hands were sore. I also met a European guy who identifies new routes and applies bolts in place. Hahaha, it was history in the making so I dashed to take his photo. That’s him on the right, while the young kid on the left is our guide:
Afterwards, we all met up and had a nice Western dinner while watching Friends. As it turns out, Vang Vieng has its fills of TV bars where restaurants have their TVs tuned in from one episode of Friends to the other. The episodes would go on all night, the ultimate Friends marathon!
So we watched Friends for a few hours till our head buzzed. I was invited to a party by an ardent Lao but after a whole day of climbing, I demurred because I was truly exhausted and we had to wake up early tomorrow morning to go back to Vientiane and fly to Luang Prabang! 🙂
And what did I eat the next day?
Haha, that’s right — Luang Prabang Bakery’s muesli yogurt! Life is good!
When we arrived in Vientiane, our flight has been moved to a later hour so we spent the time in town. My friend wasn’t really hungry but I grabbed some grub at the Nazim Indian Restaurant (Tel: 223 480, 335 Th Fa Ngum) nearby the Mekong River. I had some really nice chicken biryani with banana lasi. Their rice was actually quite special with lots of spices.
For dessert, grabbed a delish apple strudel low-fat yogurt. Hahaha, I did tell you I liked apple pie, right? 🙂