For various reasons we decided to organise our own thing in Viên Viang. There were a number of companies offering essentially the same tour but for varying prices and so we opted to try and save some money.
Most of us signed up to do a day tour of the elephant cave, water cave (via tubing), kayaking and then go to the blue lagoon. Some of the other lads chose to also do the zip lining which looked cool!
We set off at 9am in a truck which had kayaks strapped to the roof. It was very cold! Considering only a few weeks ago we were in Cambodia which was extremely warm… here it was really cold, especially in the early morning and evenings.
Once we arrived at the place we had to walk about 10 minutes to reach the water caves. The elephant cave was on route but I’ll be honest it was pretty underwhelming. It was just a mini cave in the rock with a few statues and monuments in. I was expecting something much more grand.
We reached the watercaves and began getting into the rubber rings for tubing. The water was absolutely freezing but the experience looked cool so we all had to man up and get on with it. You entered a really small cave and had to use the ropes laid out through the cave to pull you through. I’m not sure how big the cave was but it was anywhere between 500-1,000 metres. It seemed to go on for ages but I’m not sure if that’s due to the distance or the fact it was absolutely freezing and it made it a much tougher experience. All good fun though and I managed to get some cool GoPro videos (although most of it is in pitch black darkness).
After finishing tubing through the water cave our guides cooked us lunch. We took about 45mins to 1 hour for lunch and then went to do kayaking afterwards. It was a short 20 minute journey in the car to the place we start kayaking. The weather was amazing and even though the views in Halong Bay were spectacular, this had the potential to beat that for a kayaking experience.
It didn’t fail to deliver. We were kayaking down a river with incredible views. On the right we had hilltops which looked amazing in the sun and on the left we had local villages and huts on the river. The water was a really clear blue colour and we spent about 2 hours in the kayaks. It was my favourite experience of kayaking not just on this trip but so far in my life.
Our final stop was a small bus journey away to a blue lagoon. This was a small pond which had places you could dive in. There were shops near by so people used it as a popular chill out spot. By this point I’d had enough of getting wet and cold so I decided to just chill in the sun. Some of the group went into the water and said it was warm and a lot of fun.
Considering we had taken bit of a gamble by doing our thing it had paid off incredibly. I think most of us agreed this was probably one of our favourite days on this tour. It was a lot of fun, the weather was amazing and everyone had a great time.
Another good day all round. Probably the best one of our Indochina tour!