After spending a few days with my travel buddies at Pan's Place I knew it was time for me to cross the river and check out the other side. Before meeting my Canadian counterparts my plan was to spend a few quiet days at Maylyns guesthouse on the east side of the river and I still intended to do so. After saying our goodbyes and making the trek across the bridge I found myself in the waiting area only to be ignored. However, once the staff found time for me and I walked through the gates towards the rooms I knew that I'd be staying for a few days.
During my four months of travel through the Indochina peninsula I met many travelers who had already been to Laos, all of whom had their own opinions and suggestions. Upon hearing that I was soon headed there myself their first question was generally "Are you going to Vang Vieng?" aka are you tubing? Over the years Vang Vieng has become a bit of a legend among backpackers on the SE Asian backpacking trail. Once the epicenter for drugs, drinking and 'chilling out', it has now relaxed a bit while keeping a portion of that old 'charm'.
Often overlooked on the backpacker trail, this is a destination to not be missed. Without the influence of 7/11, Mc Donalds or Starbucks this is a country that offers a raw, rich experience.