1/3/2009 – Tubing in Vang Vieng
I finally got to do it. It really is one of the most ridiculous things to do in the middle of Laos, but when in Asia….
I was sharing a room with Wendy and we managed to drag ourselves up despite the sore heads. Wendy knocked on the others and we started to get ready for breakfast. We gathered with the other girls and walked down to the Australian bar for a full fried breakfast which was the perfect hangover cure and tubing preparation. It was a pretty slow start for us all and all the guys, bar Adam, weren`t up yet. We agreed to meet back there at 12 for tubing and we made our way back to the guesthouse to get changed.
At 12 we finally got down to the tubing shop to hire out a tube, have our hand written on in permanent marker and be herded into waiting tuk tuks that would take us to the top of the tubing part of the river, several kilometres away. We were reunited with our friend Skippy who we had met in Chiang Mai at Spicythai and off we went to our first bar of the day.
The party was in full swing when we arrived at the bamboo bar with a large mountain of tubes piled up outside. We made our way through the masses and parked ourselves on the edge of the platform looking out across the river at the beautiful scenery which seemed at odds with the Ibiza-style party going on around me.
We watched as crazy people took turns on a super-high swing that sent them tumbling into the river below. All around me people were drinking buckets or beer, painting their bodies or just generally chilling out and enjoying the ambiance. We took our time with the buckets and had a good catch up with Skippy. Eventually we decided to move on to the next bar which was actually a walk away, but we decided to take our tubes on the river.
As soon as I floated into the river two guys leapt into the river after me and grabbed onto my tube for the ride to the next bar. It was all very friendly. As we floated towards the bar the Lao guys threw out a rope which we had to grab onto and they pulled us in. We climbed up the steep steps up to bar.
At this bar there was a Zipwire which Skippy was brave enough to try. Otherwise the bar was pretty similar. And so the day continued much the same, buckets, floating down and over the river to a bamboo bar which had a swing or slide of some type. It was lots of fun and the atmosphere was extremely friendly.
It was drawing close to sunset and the tubes have to be back by then in order to get the deposit back. We had left it too late to float all the way back to the town so we crossed over a bamboo bridge where a tuk tuk, conveniently, was waiting.
By this point we were all pretty inebriated but I made the mistake of going back to my room to shower before food.
We picked a bar at random to eat in and it finally made sense why all the bars in Vang Vieng were full of these bed-style seats. After tubing and drinking all day, all you want to do is lie down and these bars, also conveniently, have reruns of American shows such as Friends, South Park or Simpsons on repeat all day.
We ordered Pad Thai all round but had some issues with our food not turning up which further exacerbated the hangover feeling that was heading my way. When the food did turn up it was not so good but I ate it anyway, desperate for sustenance.
It was my last proper night of travelling and my last night with my friends, but none of the girls really felt like partying and neither did I but I had told Skippy I`d go meet him so I trundled off down to the Bucket Bar where I stuck to water and parked myself in a hammock. It was a chilled spot but I found myself falling asleep in the middle of rave so I figured I should go to bed properly. I said my goodbyes and wandered back to the hotel to pack and sleep after an awesome but tiring day.