3 Days in Vang Vieng, Laos (Day 7-9/11)


The plan was to leave Vientiane at 6 AM but we found a 9:30 AM bus schedule. We welcomed the change since we’ve been waking very early the passing days.

We woke up a little late than usual and had our breakfast at the Karenderia near Singsanti’s. By 9:00 AM, we were already in front of Capitol Residence waiting for pick-up. After 15 minutes of waiting, we were worried why our pick-up didn’t show up. The husband asked me to call the ticketing. They assured us that the pick-up will be there in 10 minutes. Another 10 minutes passed, still nothing. The husband pushed to call again but I hesitated because it might seem too pushy. After a while the tuktuk came and we relaxed a little. We picked up 2 more along the way.

Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast - the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!
Bottom right pic is Migo standing in front of our accommodation in Vientiane. The rest are pics from our breakfast – the street opposite the karenderia, the karenderia and our food!

Bus to Vang Vieng

The travel to Vang Vieng is about 4 hours. When we got to the bus, it was already filled so the husband and I were forced to seat apart. On the way, the husband was sound asleep while I blogged about our day in Vientiane.

Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane!
Journey to Vang Vieng from Vientiane! Migo & Miga wearing the new couple shirt bought at Vientiane night market.

Hello Vang Vieng!

When we arrived, most of the tourist left the bus station immediately on board a van while we waited for our host to pick us up. After a while a pick-up arrived. Without asking, we went with the other group. It turned out, that wasn’t our pick-up. Haha! When our host called, we told her we rode on the wrong pick-up. Nouth arrived in a while.

I picked Nouth’s place because it had awesome ambiance. True to the pics, it made me feel like we were on a honeymoon. We’ll talk more about the place we’ve stayed in 6 cities on a separate blog soon. Stay tuned.

Our quaint accommodation with our friendly host, Nouth!
Our quaint accommodation Lao Valhalla with our friendly host, Nouth!

Vang Vieng Day 1

After settling, we slept and explored Vang Vieng. We borrowed a bike and took our first pic of Vang Vieng’s mountains. Then went to the riverside looking for the view on bright side’s pic. We saw bridges but none matches what we saw in the picture. It was about sunset so we decided to just let it go since what we were seeing was just as beautiful.

Migo tuning the bike for our first stroll!
The riverside view with the power of timer! :D
The riverside view with the power of timer! 😀

 

Life in Vang Vieng, Laos! We were welcome with the rainbow promise. 🙂

When we had our fill, we walked to find a good place to eat. We had dinner then went back to the guest house and stayed at the common area. After a while, other guests arrived. We had the chance to get to know them. Hema and Alex from Spain, then Lara from UK. We bid goodbye around 11:30 PM since we had an early call-time for the half day tour.

Miga’s favorite setup to eat. 🙂

Vang Vieng Day 2
We woke up around 8 AM. Had breakfast and by 9 AM, we were ready for our half-day tour. One other guest who also stayed at Lao Valhalla joined us. On the way to the drop off we exchanged infos. When we arrived on our tour service, 3 more joined.

Our group of 6 composed of 4 nationalities: Chinese, Koreans, Laotian and us. The tour started at a trek to the start of a multi-stop zipline. The 1st stop was around 10-15 minutes walk from the common area where our Laotian guide waited while preparing our lunch.

It took us around an hour to finish all the stops. While enjoying the ride, you get to enjoy the view on the top of each platform too. At the last ride, I was famished.

Lunch were served and after we went tubing into a cave. We laid down on our tube and then pull ourselves into the cave.

The tubing was extreme. I was concerned with pulling myself that I fail to enjoy the view inside. I was afraid of being left out too. The husband said his arms were sore ’cause of the tubing. Luckily, mine didn’t because I pushed to stay close to the only other girl in the group – Yang, the Chinese. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take a photo, besides it’s pitch dark inside the cave. I’m claustrophobic so that was kind of hard for me.

We rested for a while and then went into the last stop of our half day tour – the Elephant Cave. Yang and the 3 Korean guys Yong, Jang & Kim have full day tours. We went back to our cab and traveled back to the start of their 10K kayaking. As they were oriented, I’m feeling grateful that we opt to miss it. When they left with their kayaks, our service drop us back to Namsong Bridge.

While our tour-friends are busy paddling the 10K back to city center, the husband and I went to rent a motorbike for our trek!

Motorbiking and Trekking in Vang Vieng
When we bike to the city center on our first day, our bike act up. As the husband tried fixing, a guy approached us and walked the bike. We were surprised. In my head ran bad thoughts again but as we got nearer, we saw the same bikes. We assumed he must be Nouth’s friend – the owner of the bike. He gave us a new bike and fixed what we used. While at it, we saw his motorcycles for rent too.

On the way to Nouth’s place after our half day tour doing zip line, tubing and caving, we were dropped by the tour service at Namsong Bridge. As we passed by Nouth’s friend’s place, we decided to rent a motorbike. In Vang Vieng, there are no public transportation. To go places, you have to bike or motorbike on your own. Since we planned to trek, we needed a motorbike to go there.

The husband chose the manual motorbikes first but after 2 tries, he opted for the automatic ones which were rented at a higher price. We took the motorbike home and rested for a while before leaving for our next activity of the day – trekking in Vang Vieng (will make a separate post for details).

After the trek, we went back to the city center again and as planned tried massage after dinner. Our very 1st massage since birth. Haha! It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait to try other massage since we just had a Lao traditional massage. We went back to the house past midnight already so we decided to retire.

Vang Vieng Day 3 – Blue Lagoon and Off to Bangkok, Thailand

From my research, I only find a 10AM bus sked but when we bought a ticket on our 1st day, there was a 1:30 PM trip bound to Bangkok already. It added us an extra half day in Vang Vieng and crunched our travel time to night.

We spent the extra hours swimming at Blue Lagoon despite the rain. By 1 pm, we were ready to go. We bid goodbye to Nouth. Yang was scheduled to leave too. Nouth drop us at the end of Namsong bridge. We walked to the other side and waited for our bus pickup.

While waiting, the husband bought lunch and mango shake. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to enjoy it since I toppled the table and dropped the mango shake. I was stunned for a while, thinking he would lashed out at me. But just like always, his patience and tolerance for my carelessness is noteworthy. Thank you Lord for husbands like Migo. 🙂

Then we were off to our journey back to Vientiane then finally to the friendship bridge where an agent of Soutchai Travel assisted us. He bought our terminal fee then instructed us to ride the bus to the other side. When we arrive in the border of Thailand, another agent from Soutchai Travel helped us get our night bus ticket. When we were settled at the bus station, he bade us goodbye. As it was still 7 pm, we had an hour to ourselves since the bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:00 PM. The husband and I didn’t waste our time and bought food and a Thai sim card. The 7/11 staff was very kind enough to set-up our sim. It was much easier than our experience at Laos. 🙂

The story about how we were awed (or naihas) with the night bus to Bangkok is up next. Stay tuned. Hopefully, I can blog this weekend. I’m just so excited to be done with the personal blogging so that I could finally start my non-meish blogging and do a cleanup.  I’m afraid that if I did the non-meish stuffs first, I would forget the personal details. It’s just doesn’t  feel right to forgot my first love.  LOL

When In Hong Kong: Maclehose Trail


On our first draft of itinerary, trekking in Hong Kong was not really in it. But a week before the trip, I got a little down when I realized I would miss trekking in March. Our regular trekking group, NCR Trekkers visited Osmeña Peak on the weekend we were on travel. It gave me the idea to include trekking in the itinerary.

The husband, being the husband, was not hype up with the idea. Trekking in a new country with just the 2 of us seems a bit far off. Besides, he wanted this trip to be relaxing. But I assured him it would be nothing but pure awesomeness. Most people only saw the vibrant city life of Hong Kong and going on this trek would set us apart.

There are a lot of established trails in Hong Kong but Maclehose Trail caught my eye. The 1st stage ends on a beach. Trekking and beaching in one – who’d say no to that? But I, of course, didn’t know the weather in Hong Kong yet.

How to reach the start of Maclehose Trail?

There are 2 ways to reach Maclehose Trail: via Diamond Hill station or Hang Hau. We picked Diamond Hill. Upon arriving we hurriedly look for bus 96R that would take us to Pak Tam Chung, the start of the trail.

We were confused because 96R was no where in sight. It turns out, 96R buses only travel on Sunday. That was our 3rd day and I kind of realized that only a fraction of the locals understood English. We were lucky ’cause we found one who did.

We took bus 92 to Sai Kung. Note that bus 92’s last stop is Sai Kung terminal where you could catch bus 94 to Pak Tam Chung. We didn’t know this so we spent the entire hour of the trip worrying if we would miss the town. Pfft!

Trek Proper

We saw a lot of trekkers when we arrived in Pak Tam Chung. There were lots of trails and we didn’t have any idea which way for Maclehose.  If we were in the Philippines, asking the locals would be a breeze. The helplessness annoyed me. I decided to just picked any trail. While walking we saw 2 Americans jogging, I then asked if we were on the right track. The woman directed us to the correct path.

Stage 1 of Maclehose trail is 90% walking on a paved road. It was a foggy day so we mostly see whiteness everywhere. The whole trail is 21 kilometers long, marked by distance posts at 500m intervals along the path. We enjoyed taking pictures each stop.

The paved road ended on a path to Long Ke beach. Stage 1’s last marker was just before reaching the beach. The husband and I had our triumphant pose and continued. After settling for 30 minutes, it was time to go. Initially, the plan was to trek until stage 2 but my feet was already sore and stage 2 is still 3.5 hours away.

We went back and could have taxi-ed to Pak Tam Chung but there were a lot of trekkers competing for the ride. We noticed some were calling for taxis. Because we planned to end at Stage 2, I had no idea of the fare. Worried about our budget and on how to communicate to the taxi driver plus the passengers, we decided to trek back. It was our longest non-stop walking for 2 hours.

With no idea of the last trip back to the city, the husband was afraid that if we’d trek longer than 2 hours, we would miss the bus back to the city. My feet was screaming in pain. I was full of remorse on the way for missing to research the exit strategy. The “Miss Sunshine” spirits totally left me. In that ordeal, the husband has remained strong. He calculated our time in between distance posts. Noted if we have been slowing down and inspired me to hasten my strides. In between managing our velocity, he would crack jokes and tell me stories just to take my mind away from the pain. That experience totally gave me a peek of that amazing side of him. He is not only an explorer but something more if the need arises.

Back to the City

Our efforts were not in vain. Minutes after arriving at Pak Tam Chung, we saw the bus. My feet was still sore but to our surprise, I had enough of energy to run to the bus. When we were safely settled, I kissed the husband and nearly cried of relief.

So how was Maclehose Stage 1?

It was fun even if we missed the views because of the fog. I’d like to come back on a different weather. But my greatest memory of Maclehose was not the trek itself but realizing just how blessed I am to have the greatest husband in the world. It was such a great way to celebrate our anniversary. Travel will indeed open you to more possibilities. The more you travel, the more you will encounter problems that will test your dynamics as husband and wife. =)

page
Breakfast at the neighborhood!
page2
In the train with trekkers and the Pak Tam Chung stop with a lot of trekkers!
page3
What you will see at Pak Tam Chung stop!
page4
On the way to the starting point of Maclehose Trail!
page5
This is where the trek starts!
page6
Views on the way and the first distance post!
page7
We weren’t that sweaty after 1.5 km of walking yet!

 

page8
The husband was annoyed for I insist in taking pictures every post. Haha
page9
More foggy views!
page9.5
This was us after 2.5 hours of walking at the end of the road.
page10
Yay! Stage 1 ends here!
page11
After Stage 1 ends, you will see Long Ke beach. I planned to swim but it was just too cold!
page12
This was after our ordeal.
page13
This station has an open railway unlike the other stations. The husband and I are quite enamored with Hong Kong’s MTR. It was our main transportation in going to places. We were able to ride 6 out of 12 lines, most of them are traversing in Central Hong Kong. Our farthest was on the green line (Kwun Tong Line) – Diamond Hill to reach Sai Kung.

Trekking in Maclehose was the best part of our trip because aside from giving us a different taste of Hong Kong, we were able overcome an obstacle together. Travelling as a couple is always the best way for the relationship to grow. And for that, I am grateful to God for giving me the best partner. Yay!

Stay tuned to more posts. The husband and I are quite smitten-ed with Hong Kong’s beauty that we might come back soon. We haven’t really see the city at all since we mainly used MTRs in travelling to places. Hehe!

M&M 1st Int’l Travel HK Macau (1st Wedding Anniversary):
Summary
Hong Kong Disneyland Hacks & Tips
Why Hong Kong Ocean Park Is A Must
Trekking In Hong Kong in 1 Day: Maclehose Trail
Grandiose Macau: Hotel Hopping & More
Touristy Macau: A Cold Welcome
10 Things Why You Should Travel As A Couple

Seeing Beauty Beyond

“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”- John O’Donohue

Musings of a Nobody

Because when no one is listening the only thing to do is just keep talking.

Times with Kai

Adventures with little feet

The Misis Blogs

Sharing with you my journey as Misis B. 😊

Kalinga Ni Nanay

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Psalm 24:1

Life with Psoriasis

A Day in the Life of a NEW Psor Warrior

alaine adventures

on minimalism, motherhood, and the stories in between

great life ahead:-)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." - Proverbs 13:12 NCV

%d bloggers like this: