Vang Vieng is famous for tubing and although it’s surrounded by lots of natural beauty it’s the only reason we visited. We only realised when we arrived how beautiful the area is and there were lots of day trips from there. We only stayed the one day in Vang Vieng which was consumed by tubing and alcohol. We walked from the guesthouse in the centre of the small town to tubing centre.
Tubing is basically floating down the river on an inner tube of a tyre and stopping by riverside bars on the way down! It used to be huge until 2012 when a lot of travellers died from a fast flowing river and too much alcohol. We weren’t too sure what to expect but got told by some Germans that had done it the day before at the guesthouse not to take much with us. We didn’t take any shoes and only money, we left the phone and GoPro at the guesthouse. We purchased the tickets and the tubes in the town centre then they took us in a tuk tuk to the river about 10 minutes away.
We arrived at a bar on the side of the river and were greeted by a bunch of drunk workers people who were trying to get us to join in on drinking games. We’d only just arrived and there were only about 20 people there so we declined. We got a couple of drinks and the more and more people arrived. We were going to set off on the tube to the next bar but were told by staff that you usually stay at the first bar the longest then carry on. We got some more drinks and met a great Irish couple. After a couple of hours we got on the tubes and headed to the next bar, it was literally on the other side of the river and there were guys throwing in bottles on string to help pull you in.
This bar was a lot more spread out and there was a football pitch with an amazing backdrop of high mountains. Again we stayed there for a couple of drinks then headed a little further down the river to the third bar which had a jungle feel. This bar was crowded with staff throwing water over everyone! When we finally set off onto final bar not really knowing where it was.
We set of down river trying to navigate and paddle towards the bar. Conor spotted the bar but I was already way past it, I shouted back for him to go into it. I tried to paddle towards the river banking but wasn’t doing very well then two Thai girls joined me as they had missed the bar too. We all helped each other paddle to the river bank and climb up then walked back to the bar. When I got to the bar Conor was surprised to see me and said he was about to set off to catch up with me, good job he didn’t. It was a really fun day and we met loads of great people but there wasn’t actually much time on the river in the tube mostly just in bars.