What’s Up With Tubing And Vang Vieng, Laos?
Published on September 23, 2011
The swings and ziplines had been taken down when I was there in June, 2011. Rumors were circling that the British embassy had taken it upon themselves to remove the rides after 5-9 (stories varried) of their citizens had died on them in the past couple of months. Who knows if thats true, but all that remained of the swings and ziplines at that time were frayed nubs on branches. (I've heard from people there recently that they're now all back up and running.)
I think the draw to Vang Vieng has to do with the backwoods nature of this "trippy little town" where something as dangerous as tubing down a rapid river while taking shots of Sang Som is not regulated by the government. This type of activity would never fly in the United States, and although it's about as culturaly significant as a ping pong show, I'm still glad I experienced it.
Vang Vieng, despite becoming a backpacking attraction, is still a really small town and if you take your motor bikes off the two or three main roads, you quickly discover tiny villages of friendly locals and incredible landscape to explore. I still recommend it as a stop in Laos, but be careful on those swings!!
(and read my story about the fun and dangers of Laos at http://sotcblog.com/2011/06/27/adventures-in-laos-enjoy-and-beware/)
vang vieng is one of the coolest layed back places i have traveled to, from an unbeleive back drop of mountains to not remebering how i got home every night! this place just takes u in, the people there are very friendly, the acommidation is extremly cheap and of coruse friends/ family guy on tv all day plus the bigest menus u have ever seen...... soccter and push bike hire is avaliable, tooc toocs are everywhere.
the tubing can start from as far as the blue lagoon where u travel through the mountain caves down the river untill u hit the famouse bars and then the drinking starts... note there is always a bottle of home brew at every bar with shot glasses around it for everyone to drink for free (as soon as the bottle is empty a new one comes out)
there are zip lines, swings and slids at every bar although i heard the they got pulled down around mid 2011 (if anyone knows if this is true or are still there plz post)
at least give the place a week or two i am shore u will enjoy...
(dont smoke weed in public there also as under cover police patorling around day and night if u are cought they ask for ur passport and will not give it back untill u pay around $500 US)