Tubing in Vang Vien

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Summer and I sat lounging leisurely on our balcony overlooking the gorgeous Nam Song River (at $5 a night I might add) when we heard a rowdy mix of boys and girls’ voices calling to us from the bar next door. They beckoned insistently, “Get over here, lets go tubing!” shouting at us in what couldn’t be mistaken as Canadian accents. We quickly threw on our swimmers (Australian for bathing suits) and ran over to join them. We had a bit of catching up to do so we downed a few tequila shots and a bucket of Lao Lao and found ourselves running barefoot to go rent our tubes, getting a respective number just incase we ‘misplaced’ it. We carried the heavy rubber lifesavers down to the riverside and cast them in, fitting our bodies nicely in, like the inside of a dim sum.

Because it was low season and because they have been putting strict restrictions on the bars along the riverside, it was not the outrageous, sliding, swinging, plummeting to your death, drug-fueled, wasted experience I’m sure many people have heard about or even experienced. For better or for worse, it was much calmer. Even tranquil I might say. A bit tipsy, we gathered as a group and clung on to each other’s limbs (hands, arms, feet, toes, etc.) in a big cluster and floated slowly down the trickling river.

If you were thirsty for more, there were plenty of locals willing to throw you a rope in order to restock your supply of buckets or Beer Lao for 25 cents, and then continue merrily on your way.  It was not what I expected, but under the circumstances, it was just what I had hoped for. We got out at the very last stop, soaking wet and ready for round two.


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