Tubing and Vang Vieng

Trip Start Jan 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Chillao Hotel

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, February 25, 2011

Caught the 9am bus to Vang Vieng from Vientiene with Freddie and Maria; Lee and Michelle were catching the later bus. The took 4 hours which felt really short in comparison to our last few journeys. We realised how beautiful the landscape is in Laos when approaching Vang Vieng. We arrive and check in at Chillao at 50,000kip a night ($6.25). We explore the town but do not get a good first impression when seeing all westernised bars playing either friends or family guy. It was also embarrasing to see falang (westerners) wobbling around semi naked and drunk whilst the helpless locals watch. 

Vang Vieng sees a lot of tourists that come from all over Asia to partake in the craze of tubing. For 55,000kip ($7) you can rent a tractor tyre inner tube for the day with tuk tuk included in the price. You are then driven up river 6km where you reach the start. Immediately you are surrounded by river bars, slides and swings, loud music and people covered in florescent paint carrying buckets. The idea is to cruise down the river back to town, stopping off at bars on the way.

Nevertheless, the surrounding mountain-scapes are beautiful and we go for a walk into some crop fields on the other side of the river towards the karsts in the sunshine. We head back to town and have a drink whilst waiting to see if Michelle and Lee rolled in on the bus. They do, and we get them checked in and go out for drinks, watching more falang making fools of themselves and wondering whether that will be us the following day.

Rain! Can't believe it, we thought we had left it behind but no, dry season and its raining. Tubing doesn't sound too attractive now so we have a lazy morning watching to see if the clouds clear, but they don't. We rent some bikes instead and go for a muddy ride towards the caves and mountains. We climbed up sketchy ladders and slippery rocks to the top of a mountain for views looking back at Vang Vieng and the surrounding landscape.

We end up in Q bar that evening before heading to 'the island', which is where everyone goes after closing time. We meet lots of new people and hear lots of tubing stories.

Sun! Tubing is on, we feel a bit rough from last night but fix it with a big breakfast to settle the stomach. We get to the starting point and are given a wristband that entitles us to free shots of the local whiskey all day and all night. Oh dear. The first 4 bars had the craziest swings to jump off and we spend the first couple of hours sliding, jumping, dancing and drinking. By 4pm we have to get going to get down the last 3km and get the tubes in on time (6pm). It is a great feeling cruising down the river in a tube surrounded by the mountains, having a drink in the sun. We jump out at a bar and into a tuk tuk to take us the rest of the way to make sure we don't lose our deposit in case we miss the curfew. 

We all have dinner and end up raving at Q bar until 1am and heading to 'the island', which was a bit of a come down as they don't play any music. 

Jamie and Lara feel alright from the previous nights antics, Lee and Michelle are a write off, so we delay our departure until the next day. Lara chills out on the laptop whilst Jamie investigates buses to Luang Namtha but we realise that we have to go to Luang Prabang first. We have lunch with Freddie, Maria and Cecilia - a lovely hawaiin pizza! Freddie and Maria are heading to Luang Prabang as well but on a different bus that leaves in the morning. 

We compile all our Vang Vieng photos and videos and watch the slideshow together that evening. We also find an outdoor cinema, so we watch 'The Tourist' before packing up and preparing to leave tomorrow.

25/2/11 28
26/2/11 18
27/2/11 30
28/2/11 27

Tubing 18
Bus to Luang Prabang 18
Slideshow Report as Spam
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