It's a long winding road from the Plain of Jars to Vientiane so we decided to stop en route at Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng is notorious as a place where young people, mostly Australians flock for cheap drugs and thrills. The setting is magnificent but the town is pretty awful. As we approach we passed small trunks laden with inflated tyres and red skinned youth. They float down river in the tyres. There are a lot of drownings due to drunk or drugged kids jumping in off bridges etc.
The town itself consists of numerous cafes which play cartoon films during day to teenagers sleeping on couches, getting ready to party in the evening. Our hotel, supposedly a brand new boutique hotel turned out to be still under construction, large rooms but appallingly designed and executed. Our hotel in the Plain of Jars at $25 was better. Very much a tourist town with all that entails. We ate at the restaurant of the "top hotel" because it overlooked the river. The service must have been the worst ever - bordering on Fawlty Towers. Our starter arrived after the main course, Anne never got anything, and to make matters worse they claimed to be out of Lau lau the envigorating local spirit
However, the countryside is beautiful. You can walk along the Western bank of the river through small villages nestled under the mountains, looking across to Vang Vieng's tourist traps on the Eastern side. This is one of the bridges note the creative use of US ordnance.