Laos - Vang Vien

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June 3rd 2010
Published: June 25th 2010
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Vang Vieng is a river town once an idyllic spot, now famous for the backpackers that frequent the area to go tubing, in short floating down the river in rubber tube stopping at bars and houses down the river front to buy massive quantities of booze and play on death slides, some get their kicks from Marijuana and even Opium. I’ve nothing against a good drink with the right people but I can drink myself into a paralytic state any day of the week at home. Why goo the opposite end of the globe to spend a solid week in one spot doing nothing but trying to pickle yourself when there’s so much to see and do. I was going to the river to kayak through cave systems and hike the surrounding area and spend a couple of hours on the river to chill after kayaking.
After spending my first two days in the room feeling ghastly suffering from a bad stomach bug and aching like id taken a savage beating in the ring I decided to go out and check out the river with some friends. I didn’t drink but at least I was outside, despite my aching muscles in the first bar I couldn’t resist trying the swing where you fall 30ft into the river, out of the 7 of us I was the only one with the bottle to try it. the second bar had a death slide which if you hang on long enough will send you violently into the river, I used this to my advantage and pulled off a half summersault into a dive. At the third bar id hit my limit and just watched. There was a sobering moment for all the drunk people when a group of guys fished an unconscious man in his 20s out the water and onto one of the tables, his girlfriend in hysterics thinking he was dead, all her friends crying. I ran to have the barman call an ambulance and grab some towels leaving one guy who introduced himself as a doctor to instruct people how to move the patient onto a cart and wheel him out to the main road for collection. For the 3rd night I was in bed by 10.30 but before bed I arranged a 1/2 day kayaking trip for 7 of us the following morning.

I hadn’t eaten more than half a sandwich in 24hrs so I was hungry and exhausted from lack of sleep and food and another night on the porcelain throne. When 7 am came and it was time to get ready for kayaking. The trip was fun and the sun was deceptively hot, a couple of us ended up with sunburn. By the time we’d finished the 8km kayaking on the river with a stop over to do some rope swings etc we were all exhausted. When I got back to the hostel again I crashed out until 8pm when I decided to go out with the others who were going for drinks. It was the longest night id had since I got to Laos and I was in bed by 11.45.


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