Tubing - Is this covered by our travel insurance?

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Nam Song Garden Guesthouse

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

We woke after one of the most interrupted nights sleep we have had. Between the tunes, robbers, flashlights being shone through the windows and people almost falling through the door at about 5am we ended up getting out of the room at about 11:30 because Erica had written half a days blog (like normal this took about 3 hours). We headed out for a cheap brunch before deciding to head off tubing at about 13:15. We were given a large tractor inner tube and told to get on a tuk tuk. After driving a few km we arrived to patch of waste land, a bar and another selection of tunes. Erica said she needed dutch courage so ordered a large beer lao each. We watched more and more people arrive in various states of dress / undress and immediately everyone started spray painting each other (about 70% of people seemed to be from the UK) with witty UK slogans that show our high levels of literacy like "Brian is a bell end" or “Lets f*cking have it”. After a bucket or two, (for people even older than us a bucket is simply a bucket for making sandcastles half full of spirits and topped up with mixers) with a strong whiff of Mojito in the air, people started doing the rope swings. Videos are attached (they took ages to download) but Rorie said if I don't show him exactly what he was missing he would open up a can of whoop ass in my face.

Well we debated long and hard what to call today’s blog but with my comrade in paranoia (Emer) now having claimed on her insurance policy (which she wouldn’t participate in anything not covered by her policy e.g. randomly jumping on strange mens motorbikes like we have been doing), we decided on tubing – an insurable event? Well it is completely uninsurable that is for sure.

Tubing is a dangerous sport (we can say that now we are out of Vang Vieng alive), people do die here several each year we understand, on the day before one guy broke his collar bone and another dislocated his shoulder. In our first bar one guy ended up with a really deep laceration across the top of his arm which didn’t stop bleeding, thankfully all the bars have a full medical kit with nobody except fellow piss cans to apply the first aid, I think you just patch yourself up the best you can and carry on. One of the zip wires in particular was fairly hardcore (this was definitely a two / three bucket level event) you flew down a zip line until you hit a stopper on the line which then made people summersault one or two times into the air before a painful landing (video attached).

When you are bored of the swings and slides at one bar you grab any tractor inner tube, jump into the river on it, and float for about 30 seconds to two minutes before you get to another bar. The guys on the bank then throw life rings at you and full plastic bottles with ropes which you catch hold of and they pull you in. By bar number two the girls had other witty UK slogans daubed on like “I love cock”, you can’t beat the class can you. Bar number two had free shots of lao lao (whiskey) just for going in. By Bar three I was on the rope swings whilst the rest of the crowd were playing mud volleyball and generally throwing lots of mud around. The swings and slides I would not suggest are tested to any great lengths for safety as we saw one guy (a thin guy) fall straight through a wooden plank on one of the platforms slicing his leg open. This was merely business as usual and the plank was quickly replaced. The fourth bar we were lured into was because the guys held up a big sign saying “free cocktails for ladies” when we stopped the other side of the sign said “seriously psycadelic shrooms”. The menu consisted of.... well Beer Lao (15k kip), various types of magic mushrooms, (blended in milkshakes, tea etc), hash cakes, ready rolled joints, or opium shakes, opium joints etc. We then enquired how much for the cobra wine / vodka and the guy said just have it for nothing so we had some rancid snake wine.

By now things have got kind of hazy but we did more slides and jumps and drank more and more. With about 45 minutes to go before the fines got started we got to a bar which said “1 hour tubing to the end from here”, we got off and we also have video footage of Erica using a catapult and taking a can clean of a shelf with the first shot (although it doesn’t look like she even noticed). I'm sure if she was sober she wouldn't get near.

We tubed down through the limestone cliffs beer in hand and we remember Erica seemed to go around the other side of a rock in the middle of the river and ended up in some weeds while I disappeared downstream. At that stage I have a brief recollection of the snake wine making a revisit as I vomited, stuck in the inner tube it had nowhere to go but straight down my front. I never expected at the age of 32 to still be needing a bib.

We got the tubes back in time and both remember having some dinner in an Aussie Bar. That is about it that we can remember. Look at the videos and pics to get the jist.
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Comments

Stevie P on

Ha, that's amazing, I've never heard of this place! Relieved to see Andy's slide of doom was done to the strains of 'Like a virgin' by Maradona (oops don't mention the football)

Vic s on

Sound absolutely crazy....Even Ellie liked your style!

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