Chilling out on a tube.
Trip Start Oct 01, 2007
99Trip End May 07, 2008
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After a short bus ride we were dumped on the side of the road a short walk accross an old airstrip to the main street. It didn't look like much at first but after settling up with a really nice guest house for 6 euro a night it was looking so much better. There are two things that set Vang Vieng apart in it's own right from just about anywhere else. First, there the bars with beds and comfy chairs showing endless re-runs of Friends, Family Guy and the Simpsons. Second, and most exciting of them all is the river tubing. What's so exciting about tubing down a river we thought.
Early the next day we went down to the riverbank to get our tubing on and after a half hour wait we were signed up and squashed into a taxi covered in inflatable inner tubes. When I say squashed I mean squashed. The front wheels were coming off the ground some of the only for the driver squeezing the brake the odd time while everybody in unison was shouting whoooooaaaaaaa!. Funy stuff but just the beginning. After a 3 km drive we were left off at a stony part of the river and immediately hit the water for some tubing. Adam was being pushed along by a young boy for the first part of it only to learn that the kid wouldn't leve him alone unitl he got some monatary reward for his efforts. Along the river there are makeshift bamboo bars dotted here and there and some are quite impressinve little constuctions. But the bars aren't the main attraction. Neither is the tubing for that matter. Thanks to the lack of Health and Safety in Lao the main attraction is huge rope swings and zip lines criss crossing the water. They're basically just wooden constructions held together by big trees and high tension cables and the largest of them shoots you 30 metres out over the river and about 15 metres high if you let go at the top of the arc. Everybody was swinging out over the water like monkeys doing spectacular flips and slips and the aim of the zip lines is to hold on right to the end where it comes to an abrupt stop dropping you arseways into the water. When you add bukets of Vodka and redbull and Beer Lao to the mix you get a long day of swinging tubing and basically just getting drunk in spectacular fashion.
Long may Laos be free of health and safety acts. Or at least long may the tubing activity.