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Tubing in Laos, the tame way!

semi-overcast 27 °C
View Great Escape to the East! on Tam-Jo's travel map.


With Tam feeling a little better today, we went for a wander round Vang Vieng after breakfast. It's a pretty small place, so that didn't take long! But we stopped at a bar by the river for a pretty undrinkable lemon/orange juice, and to watch the stretch of river that in previous days was full of loud, drunk 18 year olds.

Vang Vieng had become known as the party place of Laos over the past five or six years. A typical visit in the past would have involved tubing down the river and stopping at the numerous bars on the way, which offered a variety of hazardous activites from zip-lining to rope swings and bridge jumping. What had once been a beautiful area, with some amazing karst scenery, had evolved into the Magaluf of Laos. We were not that keen on going to the place, except for the scenery and the fact that it is somewhere that no traveller misses on a trip to Laos. But over the last month we had heard rumours that the governement had shut down the majority of the bars along the river, due to the ever increasing tourist death toll (26 last year, most from idiotic drunken rope swinging/ziplining into rocks or parts of the river that were too shallow!). So maybe it wouldn't be so bad? Wrong! Now it was just like Blackpool in winter! Depressing!

Anyways, we did the obligatory tubing along the river and avoided the two bars that managed to survive the shut down and were still spewing drunken teenagers back out into the water. The scenery was spectacular. But two hours is a long time to sit in a rubber ring and float down river, especially when your ring is too big for you and you keep falling through the middle! By the end we were a little delirious with boredom and the cold, and very, very jealous of the kayakers! A quick tuk-tuk ride back to the hostel, followed by a shower to warm up and we were back out on the streets again in search of food. After bumping into some people we'd met in Thailand, and listening to their very hyper 18-year old chatter for twenty odd minutes, we found a restaurant near the river showing Friends and serving the largest banana pancakes I've ever seen! Bliss!

Tomorrow we move onwards to Vientiane, the capital!

Jo xxx

Posted by Tam-Jo 02:28 Archived in Laos Tagged vangvieng

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'hyper-18 year old chatter' - you sound SOOOO old sweetheart! But I know what you mean! Glad Tam recovered so quickly from the travellers tummy. That 4 hour minibus ride but have been the longest of her life :-(

by Mum and Dad (Ven)

I felt old listening to them! :-p xx

by Tam-Jo

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