We began the weekend tubing in Vang Vieng by taking a bus from Vientiane at 9.30am on Friday morning 7th of April. An electric shuttle bus came to pick us up from our friend’s apartment. After gathering dozens of more travelers into the vehicle, the shuttle took us to the big bus. The full packed bus started its ride at 10 am through the downtown Vientiane towards Vang Vieng.
After a three-hour bus journey with one bathroom break, we reached Vang Vieng around 1 pm. Roads were quite terrible from time to time. It’s not too uncommon to find roadway parts in Laos without tarmac.
The first task in Vang Vieng was to find an apartment for the weekend since our friend recommended not to book one beforehand. He gave us some tips where to find the most suitable ones with much lower prices than online booking platforms, such as Hotels.com and TripAdvisor, before joining us in Vang Vieng on Saturday morning.
We needed to go through few accommodations before finding the right one for our needs. Domon Guesthouse was our choice for the weekend because we got a wonderful mountain view balcony for our room as well.
Rest of the evening went by walking around the city, watching the sunset from our balcony, and eating dinner. Dinner didn’t meet our expectation at this time (I had two toothpicks inside the schnitzel).
Tubing in Vang Vieng on Saturday
It was very pleasant to wake up for the day of tubing in Vang Vieng with the unbelievable mountain scenery straight from the bed. We needed to change a room though since all the rooms with mountain views were fully booked on Saturday. That wasn’t problem for us because we got one night and morning just the way we wanted. In addition, the second night would be much cheaper as well because the price dropped from 170 000 ($21.20) to 120 000 ($15) kips.
Our friend arrived from Vientiane around 11 am so it was time for some tubing in Vang Vieng!
First, we ate a tasty Laotian lunch in the Vang Vieng city center. After that, we went ahead and booked tubes from the only rental place in the city. Renting cost 55 000 ($6.90) kips with a deposit of 60 000 ($7.50). Rent included a tuk-tuk ride near the first bar of tubing route. That’s the place where people usually start tubing as well. In order to get the deposit back, you have to return the tube before 8 pm on same day.
The tubing itself was really fun. The flow in the Nam Song River can be surprisingly fast at some sports. That’s why there are locals throwing ropes at you from the pier of bars so you wouldn’t miss them. Even though the number of bars has been reduced significantly due to some unfortunate matters, there are enough places for resting.
Drunk Tubing in Vang Vieng is dangerous
As a matter of fact, dozens of tourists have gotten themselves killed during the past ten years mainly because of massive safety hazards and alcohol abuse. The water level is very low in outline. With all the different activities from human catapults to zip lining predispose people for accidents. And when you do all in that in drunk, you can guess the consequences.
Having said that, there were perhaps 200 tubers on Saturday which is ten times less that 10 years ago. The same principle applies to the number of bars. All that reducing is straight following from the lethal matters. Moreover, Flowing Firm tries always to take it easy with all kind of improper behavior and you should too.
Furthermore, the weather was close to 40 degrees Celsius during Saturday. That made laying on a rubber tube on the river very exhausting and muggy.
In conclusion, we slid down the Nam Song River approximately one kilometer in 4 hours with three bar stops. We arrived back to Vang Vieng with a tuk-tuk ride since the sun began to set. It was already too late for trying to tube till the city.
After a quick shower and plenty of water drinking, we continued the evening to a wonderful Amigo Mexican Restaurant and Sakura Bar.
A One Night Stand in Vientiane
We checked out from Domon Guesthouse at 11 am on Sunday morning. After having a lunch in Gary’s Pub, we got ourselves into the minibus from Vang Vieng to Vientiane. Because the bus company we had been using on Friday was fully-booked, we just grabbed our return tickets from some travel company in the city center. They are all more or less the same anyway what comes to the departing. This one left only one and half hour late.
We reached Vientiane with one bathroom break around 6 pm and grab a tuk-tuk to the apartment of our friend. Since our Lao visa expiring is getting closer day after day, we grabbed night bus tickets to 4000 Islands straight on Monday morning.
I will share you everything about the forthcoming 16 hours of traveling in the next blog post!