With most of Vang Vieng still asleep, we sauntered down before the break of dawn to the hotel lobby half asleep ourselves. The ride came at 6 in the morning as promised and drove us to an empty lot where another vehicle with the basket and balloon arrived almost the same time.
They flipped the basket sideways, inflated the balloon with a giant fan and simultaneously flames it to give out that required hot air.
“You’re taking the VIP ride”, said a Chinese man in a coat to us. Essentially, he meant that the basket can fit 4 but with no one else booked, the basket was ours for the next 40 minutes. With their GPS and radios checked, we were asked to climb in.
By now Vang Vieng was waking up.
The balloon slowly lifted us up allowing us a bird’s eye view of this picturesque town.
With the air still misty, the mountain peaks looked mystical, like a painting almost.
The rice fields stretches out of the town and into the foothills.
The Namsong River beautifully snakes through Vang Vieng, manifesting its charm even more.
From the top, we see that the empty lot is actually the old airstrip and close to it is the road leading to Luang Prabang.
The beauty of Vang Vieng so captivated me; I forget that I was afraid of heights. Tranquility fused with a rush of adrenalin was an experience unlike any I’ve had.
Hot Air Ballooning over Vang Vieng seemed to have blown away the cloud looming the town lately.
On the bus to Luang Prabang later that morning, I take one last look and say adieu to a town I have, in less than a day, become enchanted with.