Gone tubing

7 Aug

Has Vang Vieng lost it’s soul? We’d been warned… But after 4 days I can report that it IS possible find a restuarant in town that’s not showing Friends on multiple TVs. Unfortunately a lot of travellers seem to prefer to get stoned, lie on cushions and stare at the screen while they eat hamburgers and get waited on hand and foot. Instead, we did the usual and trapsed through town until we found a big bungalow right on the river, with space for a hammock on the balcony (US$4). And we didn’t really stray too far from it, and it’s OK view:
The main attraction in Vang Vieng is tubing down the river – once a cheap thrill copied from local kids who use the river like public transport, now the tubing companies run a cartel and the priviledge of floating down the river in a tractor tyre tube with set you back US$3. And worth every penny. there are a bunch of makshift bars set up along the river banks, and tubers are rescued from the fast-flowing current with long lengths of bamboo, water bottles latched to long robes, or the smallest child in a small tethered tube, who throws himslef at passing water traffic and has his brother pull hom back in, along with however many thirsty punters need a Beer Lao.
At the end of the route are a small group of riverside bars, where the sun set is viewed from hammocks strung up in little bungalows… Pretty good view, really, and no Friends.

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