Crazy Night in Vang Vieng, and Rough Morning After...

Full Moon Party In Vang Vieng
After tubing we went out to eat at a local restaurant. I am beginning to miss the American way of dining. Well I shouldn't say American, I should say "not Indochina way of dining". There we are, all 7 of us, sitting down and waiting for our orders to be taken. The waitress comes by and takes our drinks. This takes 10 minutes since there is some confusion on what diet coke it. You see, here Coca cola labels their diet sodas, "Coke Lite". She mixes up orders and gets confused with bottles and cans. Next she takes Shelly's order then disappears. We have to wait 5 minutes for her to come back and take Michael's. Then she leaves again. When she returns A.J. talks to her and explains that she should take all of our orders together. AJ was born in norther Thailand, Chang Mai, and the dialect is similar to Laos. This is a huge help to us. She takes Kati's and Anth's order, but then leaves again. Another 10 minutes and we have to call to her. Then she takes Steffen's order and finally mine. I order fried pork with sticky rice and a side of BBQ vegetables. It was very tasty, though for the price of 30,000 kip the plate was not too big. My total meal was 46,000 kip, which was much more than the others, but still only around 5 dollars.

After dinner we head down to the bars. There were at least 15 bars all lit up with lights. The juxtapositions of decorative lights and blaring music with the poverty stricken locals and their shacks without the luxury of indoor plumbing was incredible and quite surreal. We went to a bar called The Smile Bar and it was packed with westerners dancing and drinking--It was the Full Moon Party. The dancing was actual dancing, not what you seen in all the damn American clubs, which resembles some type of pathetic in-tempo humping. I came up with the brilliant idea of splitting a bucket between AJ, Steffen, and myself. The bucket was Lao rice whiskey, some sodas, red bull, and lime. It was only 30,000 kip and around 35-50 oz. I was to buy the first one, then Steffen the second, and AJ the third, that is, if we were still conscience for a third bucket. The bucket came and I complained that there was not enough whiskey in it. Mind you, I complained before even tasting the drink, I just wanted as much alcohol as possible. They poured a good 4 or 5 more shots into the bucket. We drank it down and when Steffen got the second both he and AJ requested I go to 'swindle' them into providing more alcohol. It worked with great success. The third bucket was up to AJ and this time I really worked the bartender over. The bucket was likely 1/3 whiskey. It was too strong to drink so we ended up drinking about a liter and a half of beers. At this time we were somehow able to drink the rest of the bucket...BIG MISTAKE. We met an Australian named Angus (like the beef), but he just went by Gus. We chatted it up for a while then I met Dale from Dayton. He was the first black person that I saw in the last month, and he was from Ohio. We were moving onwards to the bar next door when we met a friend of AJ's, or at least I think he was his friend. He was very funny and incredibly gay. I asked him which of us three (Steffen, AJ, and myself) he found most attractive jokingly. He then gave me a very dirty response...'nough said! At the next bar two of the bartenders were white and from Canada and maybe one was from the US? The Canadian's name was Scott and we talked how unlike the popular song suggests, Scotty does know. We talked and they agreed to give us some free shots. If I were in the states I would have paid AT LEAST 50 dollars for all the drinks had, but I paid no more than $4 USD. They are very happy to give their alcohol away here, and we are all very happy to accept it. Steffen and I make sure AJ gets back safely and then we go out again to check out the local disco. We wander and run into some locals playing a game of boccie ball. They were very good, but they used metal balls and I wasn't sure how they were able to tell them apart for scoring purposes? We discover that the local clubs are closed and we are tired anyways. We get back to our bungalow a little after 2, which is quite the night since we started out for dinner at 7:15. I get back and lay in bed but feel pretty sick and there was no way I was going to get to bed. I drink a lot of water quickly in hopes of upsetting my stomach, and surprisingly it worked. I was able to 'eliminate the toxins' as one would day from the middle ages. I wasn't up to prime, but I felt good enough to get to sleep.

I woke up the next day, barely. I was very hungover and I had less than 10 minutes to get washed up, pack my suitcase and my day bag. I took some Advil because I knew what was coming...A 7 hour van ride through the mountains. This was such a brutal experience. Even the other, that were feeling fine, almost puked. I was able to make it through the bus ride without loosing any fluids (A+ for me). I cannot even begin to explain how bad this ride was. There must have been no stretch of road that had more than 500ft of straight pavement. Not to mention the van was painfully uncomfortable just to sit in.

Luang Prabang
We arrived in Luang Prabang around 14:00 and it was hot. We took a 25 minute walk into the city and scoped out the 'placed to go'. I then had a riverside lunch with Anth and Kati, the Finnish couple. It was very nice being along the Mekong River. I ate a salad, which had eggs, cucumber, mint, and it tasted very American. I only hope the lettuce was clean enough to eat? I know that when I am in India I won't be able to eat like I do here. My large salad and ice milk with sweet milk cost me about $2.50 USD. Tomorrow I am planning on waking up very early and getting into town around 5:30 to see the Monks beg for food. There are hundreds and hundreds of them that come. This is the same area that has a morning market, as well as a night market. There is a mountain I am going to climb called Phusy Mountain (pronounced Pu-say), and across the street is a Museum. The day after tomorrow I may do a day tour. They have kayaking, hillside trekking, elephant riding, biking, waterfalls, elephant bathing, etc. I think I'll go for the biking, kayaking, and waterfall trip. It's about $40 USD, which is kinda pricey, but it's a nice way to spend the day since we do have 3 nights in this city.