Trip Start Jul 31, 2011
37Trip End Oct 02, 2011
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Now, the easiest way to describe tubing is to anyone who hasn't bee before (as Hasset put it), imagine all the things that shouldn't go together and would give your local health and safety man a heart attack: Alcohol, a fast flowing river, alcohol, holiday high spirits, alcohol, general tomfoolery, and more alcohol, and you get the general idea. We were taken to the start of the tubing section of the Nam Song River and crossed the river by boat where we were taken to the first bar where we met up with Oli, an English lad living and working in Laos who I'd met the night before and had helped us sort our rooms at the Terrace (I'd recommend staying there to anyone going to Vang Vieng, staff are great and speak good English - good food and cheap enough rooms too with a great view over the river). Our welcome consisted of a smile and a shot of Tiger whiskey poured into your mouth by a bikini hottie; my kind of welcome, and a decent start to the day if ever there was one.
Once we got done with the first bar which consisted of a lot of jiggling to dubstep and drinking a bucket of whiskey (at which both myself and our Irish friend Hasset were beaten by Alicia) we jumped into our tubes and swam across the river to bar number 2. The bars along the river all have a few locals who help you get there in a simple but ingenious way
Bar number 2 is raised up about 10-20ft from a concrete platform at the river's edge and has a rope swing for you to make a fool of yourself on before you let go and make a splash. After this bar it gets a little hazy. I remember playing volleyball in a huge mud pit with a hippo, or it could have been a fat lass, I was drunk after all. I also remember eating French fries whilst being handed an "I Love Laos" bandanna and can vaguely recall the tuk tuk ride back with "fit black girl" as she became known. The only thing I can remember with any certainty was spending half an hour puking in the shower back at the guesthouse. It was a tactical chunder mind you as if I hadn't cleared my system of booze I'd have probably still been wankered 3 days later. Needless to say I spent the best part of the next sixteen hours asleep.
Bad luck befell me the next day though, we went tubing again and at the second bar I went off the ropeswing and pulled off a textbook landing but smashed the top of my foot on some jagged flint rocks sticking out under the water from the concrete base the bar is built on as I was trying to get out
The nurses were quite impressed that I'd turned up so quickly after injuring myself, given that normally people wait until they've finished tubing, had a skinful and got their injury thoroughly infected before coming to hospital. Apparently 20mins between injury and emergency room was something of a new record. I was in and out with 3 stitches and a fat bag of drugs within 40mins. If I'd have been in the UK I'd have spent at least 4 hours waiting even if there was no one else to see (mostly cos they're bloody useless in the UK and cos they seem to like to spite you in the NHS for having been and had fun without them) . Many thanks to Paul who was there with his broken ankled mrs for paying my hospital bill so I didn't have to go to my guesthouse then come back to the hospital and pay. He was repaid in full once we got back to town.