My first night in Vang Vieng, Laos was eventful and interesting. The front desk people at the hotel I stayed at warned me and apologized in advance for the two wedding parties that were taking place that night close by. Actually right on Lima Site 6, previously an airstrip used by the C.I.A. for their covert airline Air America from 1955-74.
I thought as I was trying to get to sleep that the Laos wedding band that played at the party at the south end of the strip was pretty good but was glad to finally hear them wrap it up at 1am.
Not too long after the rain started. The heavy tropical rain that beats down relentlessly on roofs. A heavy percussive sound that at best allows you to drift in and out of sleep. When I woke up later in the morning and went downstairs for breakfast it was still raining. Now just a moderate drizzle that allowed life to go on.
Downstairs in the hotel restaurant that overlooks the main street of Vang Vieng I watched as the local people road by on their motorbikes and bicycles. Almost all of them holding an umbrella while they were riding. An iconic Southeast Asian image that was burned in my brain. For some reason they all appeared to be riding in slow motion.
Was my mind playing tricks with me? Had I just imagined this? Did they appear that way to me because of years watching movies and T.V. shows that took place in this part of Southeast Asia or was it just a reflection of the slower pace of life here. Either way it had an instant effect on me. It was dreamy and soothing. Setting the tone for my stay in Vang Vieng.
I quickly finished my Laos coffee and baguette and hurried back up to my room to grab my video cam. Inspired to record some of the morning activities and share them with you.
By the time I headed out the rain had stopped. I still think you’ll feel the essence of a lovely tropical town in Southeast Asia post downpour.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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