One day in Laos, my buddy and I booked a full-day trekking/caving/kayaking tour. Nice combination of activities! We booked with Green Discovery and I highly recommend these guys as their service was friendly and helpful, the guide was informative and funny and their tours give the tourist a great overview of some of the most beautiful features of Laos.
We were in Vang Vieng and our trip started at 8AM with a pickup at our hotel. After a short drive, we hiked for an hour to reach Tham Xangor Elephant Cave. This trek took about an hour and we found a nice statue of a reclining Buddha right at the entrance.
Our guide explained that during the bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War, many locals hid and lived in these caves for extended periods of time. Hence the random graffiti we saw.
After the first half of the day, we stopped for a great BBQ lunch along the river at the edge of another cave, Tham Nam or Water Cave. I swam a bit in the river but the current was ferociously strong. Funny thing, we saw some Lao boys just playing and jumping around the rapids. Zero fear of death.
We then hiked our way through the mountain trails to the Nam Songriver. Our guide set us up with our kayaks and away we went. The third guy on our tour flipped his kayak twice in the space of five minutes. My friend and I worked a team and did well navigating the relatively mild river. This my first time kayaking but it was easy to figure out.
I remember stopping for a beer along the way. There are several little stops with food and drinks along the river. You simply wave to the workers and they throw a rope and pull you in. Great system!
We finished our hour and half of kayaking at a small beach and said goodbye to our guide. The beach was a five-minute walk to our hotel. Just in time for dinner!
Again, this company is highly recommended. I hope to use their services again.