Vang Vieng

Buy; Locals accept Thai baht and US dollars, as well as Laos kip. There is one government office that changes traveller's checks. There is one ATM that takes Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus and Plus cards; otherwise you can take money out at one of the banks with a Visa card, make sure you have your passport ready and if it's not a recognised institution they won't let you take money out. The Lao Development Bank changes money at good rates and processes cash advances. Eat All your basic backpacker fare and a few local dishes. See the Laos article for more about local food. There are numerous places specialising in pizza, which is fresh but often of indifferent quality. Many will frown this type of activity, but many restaurants along the main road also offer "special" shakes and pizzas of various sorts, just be careful! Organic Farm Cafe - original and interesting menu with excellent surprises like deep-fried mulberry leaves in honey (15 000 kip) DK3 - Milan Pizza - woodfired pizza Enjoy Restaurant - good pizza

Drink; The newly instituted killer pool competition at the Xaliph Café bar finishes at about midnight, then the tendency is to migrate down to the Island Bar (really several places on a bridge across the river) offering bonfires and beer. Many all bars screen movies during the evening (mostly episodes of Friends but some show the Simpsons/Family Guy as well). Buy dinner, stay for the movie and order a milkshake. Be prepared to listen to a lot of Bob Marley (it's as if someone bought the complete Friends box set and Bob Marley Legend and burnt copies of them for the entire town)! If you get sick of it there is a "Jack Johnson" bar which plays something else. Lie on plastic mats by the river and drink Beer Lao. Some places will build small bonfires. Some bars near the river have DJs or at least loud music and an outdoor dance floor. This is the scene for people looking for a more raucous time. Please be aware of the "special" shakes which can contain Ganja or Magic Mushrooms. They are not a good idea whilst tubing...

Sleep; There are now a couple of halfway-decent midrange "hotels" and attempts at boutique style residences. Generally though, double rooms go for US$1-5, make sure you see the room (and bathroom!) before paying. More local, low-key (which is pretty low-key in Vang Viang to start with) places are by the market and more shiny set ups are on the main road. The party crowd tend to advocate choosing a bungalow on the island, but expect it to be quite noisy if you want to sleep during the night. Most guesthouses have large TV-viewing areas, practically coated in the Southeast Asia signature triangular cushions, where they serve food. But be forewarned - you'll be hard pressed to find a place screening something other than "Friends". Babylon Guest House [1] - in the centre of town at the start of the main bar street. Clean and comfortable with hot showers at a good pressure, views from every room, Wi-Fi and English speaking staff. Champa Lao - best view of mountains, great massage, affordable tasty food. Phoudingdeang Organic farm (3km north of Vang Vieng) - peaceful & serene, an employer of orphans, mountain views. Simple short term rooms, long term residences in adobe houses. Greenview Bungalows and Restaurant (Mobile: 8560202128086, 5011679) Just across the road from the Phoudindeng Organic farm. Khamsone and his wife Sone offer comfortable clean bungalows with hot showers, great Lao food, and occasional campfires and singalongs. A great place to escape the noise of downtown. Bicycle and Motorbike rentals are also offered. Bungalows with double beds 70 000 Kip, other double rooms for 40 000 Kip.27.04. - สุขภาพ