15th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
A 6.30am Vang Vieng hot air balloon sunrise.
My first time in Laos. My first time hot-air ballooning. Being on a backpacker's budget, I was a little apprehensive to be going hot-air ballooning. However it was something that
had always been on my bucket list and everywhere I went, people could not stop recommending it to me. So a day before we were set to leave Vang Vieng, I caved. The next morning at 6am, there I was standing at an air strip, watching a team of about 20 men dressed in camo, running back and forth to inflate one beast of a balloon. The Laos Military are the ones who control all hot air ballooning operations in Vang Vieng. Soon enough, we got the signal to come and board. Unfortunately after the 12 of us squeezed into the little basket, there was a weight imbalance though. Someone had to jump up front with the pilot to make it even and me being the 5 foot giant that I am, knew exactly who it was going to be. However suffering the embarrassment of trying to gracefully leap over in front of a bunch of strangers while wearing a very non-cooperative skirt is what in the end, set me up in the perfect position to capture what you see in front of your eyes today. A 6.30am Vang Vieng hot air balloon sunrise.
© Julie Hillel.
All rights reserved.
||June 1, 2017, 3:07 a.m.
||Canon EOS 1300D