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Tubing in the Vang Vieng

The town is divided into two; Friends or Family Guy. Every bar, restaurant, guesthouse you visit will guarantee to have one of the two tv series playing, (Kails I keep imagining you in heaven getting your all you can watch Friends fix everywhere you go).

The backpacker routine seems to be the same daily; chillout in the morning with tv, go tubing around 12-1 o’clock, drink & party, come back to town, drink & party.. then start all over again with Friends/Family Guy in the morning.

Tubing was good fun but overall we both agreed, completely overrated. You hire a tyre tube and pile into a tuk tuk which takes you up the river, where you float down the river from bar to bar, stopping at each for a couple buckets and a boogie before jumping into the river again with your tube and making your way to the next bar. It has a great atmosphere, like a Sunday session or festival.. but on the water! All the latest tunes are played (on constant repeat..), and everyone gets completely loose and covers each other in spray paint or permanent marker drawings.


No one seems to make it much further than the first 3 bars so once you past this territory it becomes quite isolated and peaceful; just Joel and I, floating down the rapids, half intoxicated, taking in the great views!


The tubing business itself is a complete scam. You have to pay for the tube rental plus a bond deposit, which you only get back in full if you return the tubes before 6pm. Sounds easy enough except the tuk tuk drivers receive a commission if you don’t make it back in time so they either refuse to leave until they overfill the tuk tuk with passengers, drive extra slow to try and ensure you don’t make the 6 o’clock curfew, or, like what happened to us, they load a tube or two less onto the roof of the tuk tuk so that when you arrive back at the tubing office, a couple people (including Joel), don’t have a tube to hand back at all and get not a kip back for your troubles.

Day two we decided to try and play them at their own game (very mature I know..). Instead of hiring a tube we caught a tuk tuk straight to the bars, got a permanent marker and copied down the squiggly sign on everyone’s arm and gave ourselves a number. It worked in getting ourselves a tube from one of the bars to make our way down the river, unfortunately however we didn’t have as much luck returning them and getting ‘our money back’. As we tried to return our tubes it was quite obvious that our numbers didn’t correspond to the correct people, Joel is definitely not Brenda from Sweden and I’m not Borris from Germany. Busted!

The stories you hear about this place being wild, crazy and super dangerous are not exactly true. Sure the rivers rapids will suck you down the river quickly, and drink an inebriating amount of alcohol and go swimming and you’re sure to end up in trouble, but the flying foxes and rope swings will land you in deep enough water, most of the time…

Overall, we did have a nice time in Laos. Our accommodation was very cute and peaceful surrounded by nothing but mountains and river.. oh and the constant buzz of motorbikes. It was so nice to chill out with a drink in the hammock on our balcony and just watch the world go by! Bliss :-)


Skipping the option of another long bus trip (supposedly 24 hours.. which we’ve come to learn is probably closer to 36 hours), we opted for a short hour flight into Hanoi, Vietnam where we’ll stay for the week before we head to Hong Kong for Christmas! Can’t wait!


Posted by Joel-Renee 23:42 Archived in Laos

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by Joanne

and the adventure continues, sounds fabulous (yet again) guys. Miss you both xx

by Kails

oh and i probably wouldnt make it past the first bar... i'd be stuck watching friends all day baha x

by Kails

Miss you too Kails xx

by Joel-Renee

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