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Love, Trust, and a little bit of Wanderlust If we don't try we will never know, in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take.

Tales of Tubing!

LAOS | Wednesday, 12 April 2017 | Views [978] | Comments [1]

The day had arrived for us to go tubing! We had been excited about this activity since before we started the trip. We headed down to the pick up point, grabbing some food from a street vendor along the way. We paid, filled in a disclaimer document and got a number written on our hand. We were ushered into the back of a tuk tuk bus and headed for the river. During the journey we got chatting to some other travellers in the van. Some American, some Dutch and the rest British. We all chatted about our trips, places we had been, where we would go next, what we would suggest trying. This has been the best part of our planning because you get so many brilliant recommendations from people.

The tubing used to be extreme, some stories tell of people being so drunk they have nearly drowned in the shallow waters (at this time of year it's up to your shins, knees at the highest,) using rope swings and dropping into the river causing serious injuries, and some horrific tales of people dying on the activity. Because of this, a lot of the bars had shut down, only a few remained and they weren't always all open. We didn't mind though as we had no intention of being those people, we want to enjoy ourselves but we want to continue our trip without a trip to the hospital!

We got of the truck and we're all handed a tube. We headed for the river and off we went. This was brilliant. The surrounding landscape was amazing to see from this perspective and it was so tranquil. We floated for a while, passing some bars that have been shut down over the years. We headed towards the music we could hear getting louder and louder. We spotted 2 men on the top of a hill throwing bottles on ropes into the water and pulling people in. We grabbed a rope and headed up the hill, it was steep, wet and covered in mud. Coming down would be interesting. At the top was a small area with a volley ball net, a bar with some tables, a grass area and some hut toilets. We drank, chatted, the lads played games and we just socialised. It was good fun and the sun was shining which was perfect after the PST few cloudy days.
Time to head back down to the tubes. Some people really struggled on the slippy steps. We made it down easily and back into our tubes, off we floated!
The next bar came into view, this one was easier to get off at, it had wooden pontoon platforms, similar to what we had sat on the day before, and people to help you get off. As we got close we noticed children in the water. Some of them looked happy playing with friends but others seemed to be 'working' pushing people's tubes into the pontoons. A few of the tubers bought he kids drinks and snacks at the bar when we got to the top.
This bar had tables of platforms surrounding a little concrete area with a basketball hoop. A hose pipe was attached to the hoop and after the boys had played a few games and the music really kicked off, the whole place turned into one huge water fight/water party. If you hadn't got too wet in the river you were soaked now! It was like a mini rave, in the middle of the day, with everyone in swimming gear!!

Back to the tubes and off again. The current had picked up a little and honestly I could of happily skipped the bars and spent all day floating! We headed for the 3rd bar and some people decided to head back. The previous day we had seen the tubers sail past the bar we had been sat in and the finish point was just past us, so a group decided to keep going.
Before we knew it it was going dark, and going dark fast!! We sailed past a few places but non of them were accessible from the river. So we just kept floating. Before we knew it it was pitch black, we couldn't see any lights at the side of the river, although we knew there would be some ahead because we had seen them just yesterday! After a while, panic had set in slightly, why was it taking so long to see lights. We decided to stand up and head for the edge... bad idea. We couldn't see the river bed to navigate the rocks so we just kept falling, and the edge was too high to climb. Let's keep floating. Then we remembered that someone had told us, the river took 3 hours to sail, beginning to end.... without stopping.... well we had stopped 3 times and the first 2 stops had been about an hour each, so this last stretch of river must of been the longest, and we were doing it in the dark.
The panic had settled now, although floating in the dark wasn't doing my nerves any good, and we realised we just had to float. The exit would come along soon enough.
To our absolute delight a light appeared at the side of the river, it wasn't a bar, just a single spot light. We shouted hello and the reply came, "Hello, tuk tuk."
These guys don't miss a trick! We battled the rocks and the slight climb up to the spotlight and a man helped us into the truck and set off immediately back to town. Once in the truck we laughed about it all. But we didn't escape unscathed. My knees and the husbands shins were both bleeding from little cuts. We had been caught by the rocks in our attempts to get out of the river. When we arrived back in town we couldn't believe how early it still was considering the darkness, which now didn't seem so dark in the town. We bumped into a few people we had met tubing who all had their own little stories, and some were still only just getting back, so we weren't alone in our little adventure in the river.
We headed back, laughing about it all, and realising we had had a brilliant day. But we had forgot about the fact we were up at 6am the next morning for a flight and we hadn't packed. We had 'enjoyed' ourselves more than we had planned too so packing and getting up early we're going to be interesting!
I would recommend tubing to anyone who visits Vang Vieng, just be careful. It's only dangerous when you loose control, you can have an amazing day while still knowing where you are. And go early so it doesn't go dark on you!!! ☀️

Tags: amazing, dark, drinks, fun, new friends, relaxed, river, rubber rings, scenery, tubing



OMG, I would have been terrified😃

  Hil Apr 14, 2017 2:22 AM

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