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Vang Vieng, A Backpacker Haven

LAOS | Thursday, 20 December 2012 | Views [834]

Tubing on the Nam Song, Vang Veing

Tubing on the Nam Song, Vang Veing

On one side of the river you have beautiful limestone mountains, endless caves, and slow village life. On the other side of the river you have backpacker party central.
 
Tubing the Nam Song is a backpacker right of passage and although the Australian Government had all the bars shut down due to too many deaths. Tubing still goes ahead without so much madness.
 
All the rope swings, zip lines and slides had obviously all been removed too.  Infact it looked as though everything had been burnt down.  Jodie and I had met a Dutch guy in Gary's Irish Bar who told us about his experience of tubing the previous day.  We were both still really keen to try it out. He told us that some people had gone round with flyers the day before to get together a large group to make the tubing more fun.... So, we did just that and by 1:30pm the day we were going tubing we had got a group of about 50 people.... We all jumped into our tubes with a beer in hand (a Bacardi breezer in my case) and started to float down the river. We hadn't gone more than 100m before we were pulled in by 3 girls stood on the side.  We all got out and walked up the bank where an old lady was still selling alcohol from her house and it was full of young back packers who used to work in the bars before they were burnt down.  Some of the lads we went with had gone the previous day and it seemed that the locals would take it in turn to sell alcohol on the route... Only one 'bar' a day would be open.  So we brought more drinks and stayed for about an hour an a half just chilling in the sun and playing beer pong or frisbee before we set off down the river to the end.  It was freezing by this time as it was about 4pm and the sun was behind the mountains, we had to be back by 6pm. It really was a blast!!!
Apparently there were heaps of caves and a Blue Lagoon so Jodie and I hired bikes to explore.  We didnt manage to find the Blue Lagoon and we got lost on the way to the caves in the middle of a field, so that was that!! Although a couple of days later we took at Tuk Tuk with the South African Boys we had met... Allon, Justin, David and Jarred to the Blue Lagoon which was beautiful and I am pretty glad we didn't cycle there as it seemed a bloody long way.  There was a cave there also but it was too late in the day to go and check it out.
 
We spent most of the evenings in Vang Vieng at Gary's Irish Bar and when that shut, we moved on to The Full Moon Club which was open until 1pm.  We met some great friends in Vang Vieng and it was just what we needed after Vientienne and Bangkok. 
 
A little and very true story for you... The South African boys we met thought one evening after they had brought some bottled beers that they didn't actually want to drink them and it would be a good idea to throw them and watch them smash on the old airstrip.  Unlucky for them there was a policeman watching and they were quickly taken down the station where they were told it was either time in jail or they paid 2 million Kip each!! Of course they all chose to pay but these boys had their pants well and truly pulled down and their arses slapped!! Lesson 2... Don't fuck about in a Foreign Country.... They are robbing bastards!
 
You can telll they are closely linked with France... every street food stall sold only pancakes and sandwiches. Pad Thai was no longer and I had a serious case of carb face!!
 
Anyone who cancels their trip to Laos because the tubing is off is crazy!!!  
 
Peace and Love
 
Zoe xxx

Tags: asia, blue lagoon, caves, laos, travel, tubing, vang vieng

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