It’s amazing how much you can fit into one day.

After a nightmarish tuktuk ride to the top of Vang Vieng, we arrived at the beautiful, fast-flowing Nam Song River, and as we had recently experienced some drama with bamboo rafting, we decided not to join everyone kayaking. Instead, we watched and waited before being taken to Tham Hoi cave, which is guarded by a large Buddha figure. According to sources, this cave continues 3km into the limestone and comes to an underground lake .

Not long after, we found ourselves embarking on another jungle trek, climing ladder-bridges, crossing water, etc. and then prepared ourselves to go tubing into a cave. This experience, depsite a few of being a little nervous after recent events, was incredibly awesome. We are basically harnassed to the wire leading from the jungle to the cave so there’ll be no sweeping-down-the-river this time. With our headtorches on, we hop into our rubber tubes and direct our way across the river to the cave. Admittedly the entrance to the cave was a little low and the life jackets appeared to add danger of suffocation when anyone got stuck, but once inside it was a little more spacious. Not that the Spanish woman who shouted “Mummy!” when she got stuck, agreed.

TIP: Watch out for those stalactites! They can give you a serious headache.

Over millions of years, this enchanting cave had created a stunning blend of metallic colours and smooth textures. Deep inside the cave, the water was shallow and we were able to dismount our tubes and stand up. There was an opportunity to crawl through the next part of the cave, though this didn’t appeal to many in the group and we went back the way we came, losing my head torch along the way. Damn those stalactites!

Back in the town, after a quick lunch, we found ourselves in the tubing office where Rosie, Heather and I rented out a tube each. Along the top of the Nam Song river is an area lined with bars and large decks, and equipped with zip lines and rope swings. Tourists then have the option to cross the river to the next bar on the tube or by boat.

After a few drinks in various bars, confidence kicked in and a few of us decided to jump the zip line into the river. The evening naturally got messier as darkness fell and we finally caught an overcrowded tuktuk back to town, where we ordered food, which came in dribs and drabs as Asian food often does (never expect to get your meal at the same time as everyone else).

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