Posted by: James Shannon | July 19, 2011

Visions Of The Laotian Hinterland, En Route To Vang Vieng

Intrigued by the intense popularity of Vang Vieng, I departed Luang Prabang; perhaps it was too early, but my shrinking timeline ( I had to catch my flight home in less than a month!) made these decisions sadly necessary…

Arrival at Luang Prabang southern bus station … Laotian buses are very artistic, me likey!

Got my breakfast from a streetside baguette vendor … half baguette filled with butter and nutella about 10,000 kip, or $1.25 … so fresh and tasty!

And away we go into the Lao hills … lots of mountains to be climbed today!

Sighted in one of the innumerable villages along the way … apparently Laotian women have expectations to live up to … too bad this sign wasn’t forthcoming with the details…

The most scenic loo in all of Laos, random rubbish aside…

AHHHH A SPIDER!!!  Probably poisonous, but used the toilet anyway; had to rush to make it back to the bus on time! 🙂

A freshly deforested mountain, ready to be developed for agriculture

This isn’t the best pic I took of the windy mountain road we drove on (the best one came out very blurry, agrh), but it gives you an idea of how roads are in this corner of the world … carved wherever you can fit them; in this case, into the side of the mountain itself.

Down in the valley where Vang Vieng district is located, you get a better idea of how large the mountains we just crossed really are!

A bucolic vista of the Laotian countryside…

Limestone karsts and farmland are common fixtures throughout this region in Laos

… after about five hours of travel from Luang Prabang, we arrived in Vang Vieng

Starting next photo essay, we explore the most celebrated (or reviled, depending on who you talk to) backpacker destination in SE Asia … stick around folks!

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