If you saw my earlier post from Luang Prabang you will know I’m not having a good week. To top off being ill with food poisoning I have now managed to loose my iPhone somewhere in the Laotian countryside. After spending the Saturday re-riding the 20 miles through paddy fields and karst mountains in a hunt for where I dropped it, I have had to give up. I am just so annoyed with myself for being so ridiculously stupid and now I have a £100 bill to cover the insurance excess.
Anyway despite missing a great sunset and sunrise searching for it, I decided to head out yesterday morning at 4am to get the shot that I had in my mind for the last 3 days. The weather conditions weren’t too favourable, I was hoping for the mist to be lower and the cloud cover to be thinner but sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
The walk from my guesthouse to this spot is around 2 miles through the town of Vang Vieng and then some small villages before hoping over the stile onto the path for a cave. Vang Vieng is this tiny town in the middle of the most amazing scenery where tourists outnumber locals 15 to 1 apparently. It is the center of ‘tubing’ but the tubing also mixed with drugs and alcohol which lead to 27 people dying last year. However only 2 minutes on a bike outside of the town and you are back into the amazing scenery, literally mile after mile of crazy limestone karst mountains.
Walking through any SE Asian town in the dark is always an interesting experience, especially when the local dogs are looking for a fight. I have a fear of dogs, I don’t know where it started, possibly from when my brother got attacked by a dog. So to be constantly surrounded by dogs is a bit of a scary experience but a handful of stones to throw in one hand and a tripod in the other seemed to do the trick. You just have to be confident and don’t turn your back because they love to get you from behind.
As soon as I left the town and into the countryside things got even more interesting. The lanes were literally pitch black so it took a few minutes to adjust my eyesight so I had the remotest opportunity to see where I was going. By the time I got to my spot for the shot the light was just starting to turn and I began to shoot. Unfortunately the mist rose really fast and by the time the light was right the mist was reduced significantly. The extra cloud cover also meant that there was no special sunrise light or colours to light the amazing karst formations. Therefore I decided to go for a monochrome image which hopefully shows the movement of the mist and clouds through the long exposure.