Drunk tubing...

Vang Vieng Travel Blog

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Last night was a little more messy than intended, so the 9:30 wake up call was quickly changed to 10:15, which made little difference to our hangovers! Crawling to the tubing pick up place, we are offered a Barcardi Breezer by the guy who arranged our tubing. That DEFINITELY didn't help our hangovers! It's a beautiful day though, and the prospect of floating along down the Nam Song having a kip sounds good. The tuk-tuk arrives to pick us up, and is rammed full, so I am left at the back, hanging on with both hands, letting the wind blow away my headache. Lucky it's only 4km to the launch point north of Vang Vieng, by the Organic Farm.

It's funny, there's very little regulation. We are given our tubes, and that's it. The river is in front of us, and the current looks fairly strong, as I guess it has to be. It's a bit of a mission to get myself sorted, and I end up stacking it, getting everything in the "dry" bag wet in the process. It's not far to the first bar, so I can sort it all out there. After paying for our first drink (a coke) with sopping wet kip, Burg does the free jump (free for those who buy a drink!), and we get back in the tube to carry on down the river.

Vang Vieng might be an absolute Khoa San Road of Laos, but it's surrounded by spectacular mountains, and floating down the river on a tractor tyre is one of the most peaceful experiences I have had. The only interruption is the bars, where guys with bamboo sticks pull you in, and you can get some BeerLao, or LaoLao (whisky), and some munch. The hangover seems to have receded after the second beer, though the problem now seems to be the tractor tyre. As no-one has their own tube, you can pick up anyone's when you leave the bars, and I seem to have picked up one with a puncture! Nothing serious, but you can hear the hiss, and I put my finger over it to stop it! Still, the next bar can't be too far away, and it's not, but the rapids in between the bars cause a bit of a problem. There are rocks everywhere, and I scrape my back on one of them! Ouch! Finally I see a bar in the distance, and it takes an age to get there, then get dragged in. I dump my tube, and get some BeerLao, and some LaoLao, to numb the pain of my scraped back!

Luckily, I sneakily get a different tube, and we set off towards the end of the line, where a little girl picks us up, and asks for money. Sneaky. The end is at the sunset bar, and we have a drink there, it's one of the best places to chill out, with hammocks, and cushions, and everything. After wandering through town with our tubes over our heads, in our swimsuits, we get some food at an Indian restaurant, before celebrating our tubing experience with some strong whisky drinks whilst watching Family Guy. How perfect can you get?

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Vang Vieng
photo by: razorriome