So you sit in your tube and float down the Nam Song
. A bar appears on your left and you are thrown a life line and pulled in. Tube is thrown in th tube pile and you precede to drink yourself silly. Everybody is having such a good time. In the first bar there is a really high rope swing into the river. I had a beer and plucked up the courage to try it. Angie remained routed to her sit. Climbing to the top of the swing I was greeted by two rather large looking English chaps that decided it was too high for them and were coming back down. Great I thought to myself, that is reassuring. It was such a rush that first swing, I almost shat myself. Eventually I let go and plunged into the fast flowing river and was pulled into the side. Some people attempt all sorts of amazing flips. It is highly entertaining to sit there with your beer and cringing as someone belly flops or face slaps into the water. This would never happen back home, you would never get insurance or a license to run such and operation.
There are many bars as you float down the river but it can get quite dangerous towards the end as in gets dark. People are totally hammered at this stage and it is not unknown for people to drown here. In fact, only last week a young American guy died tubing. Also, we met these two Irish lads (many Irish in Vang Vieng, they come to Laos only to do tubing). They had been tubing the day before and got totally shit faced. They ended up way down the river past the exit point and it was almost 10pm. One of them panicked and fell out of his tube and almost drowned, pulling his ham-string in his effort to get to the river bank.
I have a feeling one day that the tubing will be stopped. Best fun you can have with your clothes as Pat Scully used to say.
Also, forgot to mention that we had rats in the walls of our bungalow which made it impossible to sleep. We changed GH to one in town instead.
Vang Vieng is in a beautiful setting, surrounded by karst mountain ranges and with the Nam Song running through. This is a backpacker town and there are GH's everywhere. There are loads of obnoxious farang and it reminded me of Cairns a little bit. That aside, we came here to do tubing and let me say this; it is fucking awesome. Never before have a seen such madness and fun. We decided to go tubing in the afternoon to make sure the rains didn't come and that there were a decent amount of people doing it at the same time. We had a large breakfast (essential) and queued up outside the tube shop. You rent your tube for 40,000 kip plus 60,000 deposit, of which you inevitably lose 20,000 for not bringing it back before 6pm. Tubes are strapped to the top of a tuc tuc and you and about as many people that fit in the tuc tuc are taken 4km up river to the "entry point". We rented life vests and dry bag as a precaution.