Vang Vieng - The Western Side
Trip Start Mar 03, 2010
33Trip End May 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
Le Jardin Organique Guesthouse
Vang Vieng is a world famous "backpacker" party town, fueled by one of them so called "most do" events when in Asia - Tubing down the Nam Song.
The Town is the most westernised place in Laos. Most places sell nothing but Burgers and Chips; Friends and Family Guy run constantly on large TVs; There are millions of Internet Cafes with Skype and Webcams etc.
The Bars sell buckets of Whiskey for 80p; Drugs are freely available in certain bars; You'll end up spending your night lazing in a Hammock listening to Trance until 6am. It's one of them type of places
As for Tubing, well it's just that. You sit in a large rubber ring (basically a Tractor Tyre innertube), float down a river, and every 20 seconds you'll get pulled to the riverside by Bar workers who supply you with free shots, food, drugs, loud music, from 10am til dark. In the meantime you can get munted, decide to use the rope swings and slides and have lots of fun, albeit pretty dangerous.
Sounds ace, right? Well yeah, it is. I had a lot of fun. But not without a huge guilty conciense. You have to ask yourself, what the hell do the locals make of it all? How do they feel with drunk teenagers standing in their swimwear in the middle of town at 4am? What do they make of the non stop noise on the River? What about the numerous people who drown in the River, which they have to pull out? Drunk people and rivers don't mix. You'll see a lot of people with bandages walking around. So many in fact, they've got a new hospital in the town. Pays for itself, really.
So yeah you'll have fun, but if you have any sort of intelligence you'll feel bad about it - or least have to wonder what they make of it all. Yeah it brings money to the area (well, to those who run and own things, not everybody) but at what price?