Tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos!

Vang Vieng – what can I say about this place? It’s absolute heaven for those who love to drink, party, and lead the high life (if you know what I mean).

I heard scary party-drug stories when I was in Luang Prabang and I was kind of put off from going to VV. It sounded like the absolute place I wouldn’t be in; especially the tubing part where you tube down the river and go bar-hopping, get wasted, and continue tubing down the Nam Song river. I’m not for bars or getting wasted at all. 

I still went in the end cause it was along the way down South. I needed a place to go and kill time before I was to head to Bangkok on 13th June.

I did not do any research at all about Laos and what I was going to do here. I just went with the flow.

The beginning, where the magic all happens.

I was thinking of joining Mona to tube on the 9th June when she’d get into Vang Vieng cause she doesn’t drink and we could tube down the river instead of getting out at the bars.

Butttttttttttt, since there was a whole group going, I didn’t want to be left out and decided that I could deal with the alcohol situation and decided to go instead.

Got advice from many people and we bought our own tubes for 20,000kip across the road from our hostel, Pan’s Place. I bought a waterproof pouch for the phone and money as well, for 10,000kip.

The thing about renting a tube is that you pay 50,000++kip for rental and about 60,000kip I think for the deposit. You need to be back in town by 6pm to return the tube in order to get your deposit back if not you forfeit it. (Good tactic to earn money) Most people start tubing at 1++pm and at 6++pm most people are wasted at the last bar/ have lost track of time.

I went with Liss, Miriam, Mathilde, Chloe (Australian), Amanda and Joana (Swissies). We took a tuktuk for 10,000kip each and arrived at the river. The tuktuk driver didn’t tell us any instructions or what we were supposed to do and just left!

So we went by the river, blew up our tubes, and started our budget adventure!  

Us with our tubies, ready to go with the (river) flow!

First

The first bar, in my opinion, was the best. They had volleyball, frisbee, and soccer. God knows I hate drinking and beer so I bought a lemon vodka slushie to tide by. Thank goodness Joana wasn’t really into drinking games so we played frisbee and I casually ditched my drink.

Asked Liss to play as well and more people came! Specifically three teachers from Yangon – Katie (English), Mark (American), Boshka* (Mongolian). It was pretty fun cause they knew how to play frisbee!

The lot of us at the first bar before heading off to the second.

Second 

View from the 1st bar of the 2nd bar.


First bar closed around 2.30pm and we all moved on to the second bar. It was less than a 5 minute tube down the river – BORING. Bought a pineapple shake there cause I needed to go easy; I know my tolerance level. 

Sat around with the teachers and others and watch slightly drunk people wrestle with the mud. Mind you, not wrestle in the mud but wrestle with the mud. American dude saw my tattoo and said he liked it! I like it too.

Volleyball courts and mud pools with a scenic backdrop. Absolutely stunning.

Third

Onward!

Moved on to the third bar which was further away; better for the tubing experience. I bought a strawberry vodka and saw Esther there! Danced in the third bar and met Mr Japan Man! He was this old but not too old dude with a Hello Kitty waterproof pouch and was dancing away on the ‘podium’. He had some pretty cool-ass moves which we all followed.

Was dancing halfway when I felt someone touch me, turned and saw an Australian couple admiring my tattoo. Awwww. Talked to them for awhile and told them about Thom’s Elephant Camp. I MISS THAT PLACE.

Talked to a drunk German kid – totally drunk – and he offered me some of his fried friends. Fries, he meant. But he was drunk. Can’t blame him. That fella tried to deflate my tube when we were in the water. I swear I would have kicked him hard if he really did it.

Jules and Greg from the minivan to Vang Vieng!

Fourth

4th bar! No drinks this time. Save money, save myself.

Foosball table was available and I asked Liss to play. I asked that silly girl where the ball was and she picked up a Henessy bottle cap and placed it on the table to play. “Okay”, I thought, “whichever works”.

It did work! & after awhile I found the ping pong ball in one of the goal posts. I think I was drunk to have missed that.

There was this guy who joined my side. Liss scored a goal, he failed to defend it, twirled one of the sticks in a like I-give-up manner and HE WALKED AWAY. HE FREAKING WALKED AWAY. WHAT A LOSER. Liss and I just laughed at him.

A couple others came to join us and the game soon died down. Watched people get drunk, hook up, and watched our favorite person flirt with guys.

Fifth

LAST BAR! Talked to the guy I pulled along from the first to the second bar and he liked my tattoo! Whoo! I love my tattoo too.

Bought a pomegranate breezer and offered it to a few people. The girls loved it, Mark said it was horrible, Greg called me a pussy for drinking it. I HAVE A GREAT MEMORY AND I REMEMBER MOST THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY TO ME.

Danced awhile, attempted to play volleyball but everyone was horrible, and ended up getting a tuktuk back to town.

I was really hungry when we were done cause all I ate the whole day was an American Breakfast in the morning. Liss was impressed that I didn’t need to eat the whole day.

My 35,000kip goodness (cooked and prepared by youths) lasted me the whole day.

Went back, showered, had a huge whole plate of fried pork rice which was absolutely delicious! It was so filling and exactly what I needed to feel better, especially if we were going to drink (again) after dinner.

Headed to Sakura Bar – the place where you buy two vodka drinks and get a Sakura Bar tank top! Bought my drinks, the tank top rather, and dumped the drinks on a bench cause I didn’t need any more alcohol. Mission accomplished; I got the tank top! I love it by the way, it’s comfy and I wish I had one more. But I know it’d be a waste of money.

Danced with the girls for a while and we soon left around 11.30pm (thank goodness!) cause we were all tired.

Damage done for tubing:
Inflatable tube – 20,000
Waterproof pouch – 10,000
Tuktuk to river – 10,000
Lemon vodka slushie – 30,000
Pineapple shake – 15,000
Strawberry vodka – 30,000
Tuktuk to town – 10,000
Total: 125,000kip (~25SGD)

Other damages:
American breakfast – 35,000
Fried rice with pork – 15,000
Fruit shake – 5,000
2 vodka drinks – 50,000
Total: 105,000 (~21SGD)

Kill me. Just kill me for spending so much but IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. I thought I’d hate it cause of the drinking but I surprisingly had a really good time. I ditched half of my alcoholic drinks anyways, except the Breezer! I finished that cause I could tolerate that.

Would I go tubing again? Yes! But I’d skip all the bars and travel down the river. I heard that it takes three hours to reach the end. I would totally do that! A couple of girls actually skipped three bars and went down the river for 1.5 hours. I wished I’d done that.

No, kidding. I wouldn’t have traded my drinking experience for anything else. It was a big fat first for me and I loved it!


 

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