The balloon did take off. And nothing untoward happened. The view was not too good. The Mekong threading through the town, a few hills and buildings. We spotted our hotel. We floated for a while, the Chinese (?) pilot rotating the balloon mid-air to enable everyone to get pictures and videos. Soon it was time to get back to earth. It was perfect, safe landing. Our concerns were obviously misplaced. No luxury, no snacks, no champagne, but we did get to fly in a hot-air balloon. For Pavithra, one of my co-travellers it was the first time, so she was excited. Tanuja and I had taken a balloon ride over Bagan in Myanmar, so we weren’t particularly thrilled. But, on the whole, it was worth taking the trip.
Vang Vieng had more excitement in store for us. We took a tuk tuk to Elephant Cave, Water Cave, Hoi Cave and two temples. Elephant Cave was a disappointment- nothing elephantine about it. Water cave was where people went tubing. We thought it was too challenging - lying on your back inside a rubber tube, and floating in the water, while holding on to a rope and crawling into a narrow black tunnel, wasn’t really our idea of fun. So we gave it the miss.