If you've ever heard of Vang Vieng before, it was probably in relation to the tubing that happens there.
Now, I'ma be real with you, the tubing scene has changed in the past couple of years. There used to be dozens of bars along the waters edge, with crazy slides and rope swings.
However, there was on average 1 death a month, cumulating to 22 deaths (mostly Aussie's for some reason...) in 2011 when the Lao government made a huge crackdown on the area.
Now, there are only 5 bars, without any slides or ropes, but it's still a ton of fun.
[Momster and Popster, you may want to skip this one...]
We started off at the first bar at about noon and were given a shot and a bracelet. People make it their personal challenge to collect as many bracelets as possible, so this usually means copious amounts of shots and beers. We played a game of beer pong and then started the exodus to the second bar.
We floated for about...2mins and arrived at the second bar, where we collected more bracelets and played a game of beach volleyball.
We carried on to the third bar, about a 5min float this time, when a Lao guy launches out a rope with a water bottle attached at the end to pull you into shore.
We played more beer pong, volleyball and hula hooped up a storm before heading to the final bar.
Now, I'm not going to lie. We were acting a bit snooty: 'look at these kids with their reckless drinking, so stupid, so immature...ya, sure, grab me another beer and a shot'. Usually people take a tuktuk back to town from this bar, but we had the bright idea to keep floating down the river since we had floated barely at all at that point.
After a heck of a long time, we realized it was starting to get dark. Like, real dark.
We continued along the river til we saw what looked like a hotel and clambered out. Pretty much the start of a horror story, but they were really lovely: gave us water and called us a tuktuk.
We ended up getting back to town at around 8pm, 2 hours past the time when we had to get the tubes back (and our deposit. Le fail).
So, lesson learned: don't keep floating down the river, even if it seems like a good idea. Oh, and don't make fun of others and then proceed to be the stupidest of the bunch. Point finale.