A real lazy river

Limestone karst by the river - Vang Vieng
Miha jumping into the river - Vang Vieng

In Vang Vieng, a tiny town halfway between Luang Prabang and Vientiane, a crowd of backpackers a few years ago discovered a mountain-bound oasis from the heat and disorder of traveling in Laos. A small river flows among hills composed of limestone karst, and enterprising locals have gathered a stock of tractor tires to rent out to tired travelers with which they can float effortlessly through the mystical landscape. In a stroke of commercial genius, they’ve also constructed bamboo platforms like something out of the Swiss Family Robinson, spaced nicely along the banks, at which “tubers” are greeted with complimentary shots of Lao Lao homemade rice whiskey and chilled Beer Lao for $1 a bottle. Sputtering sound systems blast Bob Marley and the like (and this was the first context in which it’s felt appropriate and less than grating that I’ve encountered since at least sometime in high school), and the hideaways also feature various kinds of jerry-rigged swings and zip lines. Braver people than I took turns jumping into the river using these apparati, but I was, unsurprisingly, content to drink and watch my temporary traveling companion, an enthusiastic law student from Slovenia, abandon caution and leap into the water.

You can see him in action by clicking play below.

Posted by on December 6th, 2006


Dandan said

December 7, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

Hi, Ali, Glad you have your blog updated again. I’m blind to computer and internet things and I wonder is this vortext site yours or does it belong to a big commercial site? And how to make money from blog? I’m a Chinese and I write both in English and Chinese, and I write a lot. Writting is my hobby rather than a way of making money. I love sharing my experience and feelings with strangers and blog is my way of relaxation. But sina bloggers like to visit each other and since i’m so busy now I can’t afford time to visit all those frequent visitors everyday. Some sina bloggers build up traffic only by frequently visiting others , which I can’t afford time to do on a regular basis. And since I have to participate an important training in Feb so now I have a very tight schedule.

Since they keep on visiting and commentating on my journals and it’s very impolite not to visit back to their sites so I shut down my blog and deleted all my journals several weeks ago. Now I reopened it again. But I wonder how do you guys make money by blog? This may seem to be a very stupid question but I do write quite a lot and when I have time I can be pretty productive. It’s good to have extra money but how? Can you teach me?

Daddy said

December 8, 2006 @ 7:15 am

Cool is right–youtube as well–it’s one of the few videos that are soooo simple to use, I clicked it played, fun!
Sorry I missed your call–biz meeting with Jeff and a guy from Union Central (based, btw, in Cincinnati, who paid for our buffet brunch at the Marquis Marriot, and then it was off to sign and collect my check from the law firm @ 499 Park–Northeast corner 59th street, which was easy, but melancholic and depressing a la vez…

Dandan said

December 9, 2006 @ 11:42 am

OP, u never come back to see ur comments?


December 9, 2006 @ 4:02 pm

Makes me long for some time out of the city….Thanks…

Greetings from GZ….


Ali said

December 10, 2006 @ 12:51 am

Dandan–Sorry! I do come back to check, but I’ve been at the beach, so I’m trying not to go online *too* often. If you give me your email address (you can reach me at ali@thevortext.com), I’d be glad to respond in more detail and check out your blog when I get back to Beijing in a few days.

Dad–Talk soon. Back in Beijing on Monday morning (CST) :).

Lonnie–Glad to help you beat the city blues!

Dandan said

December 10, 2006 @ 11:51 am

Ali. I’v sent you email. Forgot to write my name at the end. Pressed “send” button too quickly. I didn’t mean to be that impolite.*giggle*

David said

January 13, 2007 @ 9:57 am

Looking at those pictures and then outside of my window in Beijing makes me want to run – but don’t know where. Girlfriend? Bar? Spa?

Ali said

January 15, 2007 @ 1:44 am

A massage might help…perhaps at Bodhi :).


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