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Day 4: Vang Vieng

Hot Air Ballooning over the Karst Limestone Peaks of Vang Vieng

The trip between Vientiane and Vang Vieng on the bus was a little long to be sitting shoulder to shoulder with 23 other foreigners. I think we were all a little surprised that all of us fit in there to begin with. I feel sorry for the 4 tall Scandinavians squished along the middle aisle with fold out chairs. 4 hours later, we arrived and I was quite happy to pop out and start booking my activities for the next two days.

Special mention to Aoy at Green Discovery Laos, he was a superb and very friendly agent. He wisely advised that mosquito repellent is a definite must in this town!

Within 1.5 hours of arrival, I had been shuttled off to a small patch of gravel by the Nam Song River about to board an inflating hot air balloon with 3 medium sized South Africans, 1 regular Australian, a very tall Australian and short Australian, like myself! As we bundled into the basket, not only was I dwarfed by the size of the balloon but also by my fellow passengers.

The take-off was light and sudden. We had only just got used to being in the basket with the crew surrounding us holding down the basket; and then they let go and we gently wafted away from them waving goodbye excitedly.

Apart from the semi -constant ‘booooooooosssh’ noise from the gas cylinders firing hot air into the balloon, the ride was very peaceful floating above the rest of the world.

There was a beautiful spiritual moment where the sun streaked through a gap in the karsk limestone peaks and you could see the rays shining on the valley below. Then there were amusing moments where we thought we were about to land early as we came close to the ground. Our pilot was undoubtedly very talented, had things under control between his hot air gas firing skills and a device that told him the wind velocity - among other things I’m sure!

The scenes that unfolded below us varied from waving at excited children playing in their backyard, while their parents worked the fields, to watching the revelries of people inner tubing and braving the 10meter swing. Although we were quite high, the children’s voices reached us as did the music from the bars.

Best of all was the landing. We were all looking at a small patch where we were supposedly landing. The crew was already there ready to receive us, but we were all in disbelief. Coming closer, the conductor simply tossed a rope over and the crew caught it and reined us in. We touched down softly with a little tumbling against each other on impact but all in good humour. None of could believe where and how we landed. It was truly incredible, as was the entire trip - gently drifting in the air watching the world go by below us.

Hot Air Ballooning over Vang Vieng

Hot Air Ballooning over Vang Vieng

Posted by Teamworkz 03:49 Archived in Laos Tagged air hot over ballooning vang vieng Comments (0)

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