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Published: July 24th 2012
17th Oct: Up early, had a shower, breakfast and went to get some money out of the ATM. It took a while to find one that was working. Waited back at the guesthouse for my pick-up to go to the infamous Vang Vieng. I had no idea what I was going to do, as I was travelling alone, and Vang Vieng didn't really seem like it would be a good place to be alone. Plus I didn't know if there were any good hostels about to meet other people to go tubing with, as I didn't want to go alone.
The tuk-tuk drove around Vientiane for a while picking up other people. Then it dropped us on a non-desript street, where a couple of buses were waiting to take us to Vang Vieng. The bus journey was ok, and took about 4 hours. It was broken up by a rest stop in the middle and I got talking to a lovely Dutch couple.
When we arrived in Vang Vieng, instead of rushing off to find a guesthouse, we decided to chill and have a drink. We then got a tuk-tuk which ripped us off and literally just took us
around the corner to the bridge. Since everyone had already headed over the bridge to stay at a pretty popular place over there, we didn't think we would have much luck getting in. So when a young lass said do you want to come and look at my bungalows we jumped at the chance. The bungalow was lovely, but we had to move from the first one, as someone had already claimed it. Second one was just as nice and it was a bargain, a tenner a night between the three of us.
The area around our guesthouse was really nice there are huge cliff along the other side of the river and it's a bit misty making it very atmospheric. We took a wander into town later, not much going on. Stopped for dinner at a restaurant. Couldn't believe they had a Korean menu, and served kimchi fried rice and the like. Not that I ordered any of it. The town was pretty quiet and we went off to find some bars. The first few were pretty dead, but we ended up in Jaydee's, which was a lot more lively. Got to sample some free shots of Supermao,
not great. Got chatting to some others in there and had a good night. Headed home around midnight ready for tubing tomorrow.
18th Oct: Up around 10. Bas went and bought us breakfast, so we sat on our verandah and ate our croissants and fruit. What a lovely way to start the day! Then we went off to find the tubing place. We found it pretty easily and rented our tubes and a waterproof bag to put our stuff in. We waited a little while for our tuk-tuk to fill up and then we drove maybe twenty to thirty minutes out of town to start of the tubing.
We arrived at the first bar, got our strands of thread for free drinks later that evening, but decided not to stay and to hit the water instead. Having literally just got into the water, a guy appear out of nowhere, jumped onto my tube abd took me to his bar, which was the next one on the circuit. I could get used to this not having to do anything and have someone take to alcohol. The bar, when I say bar I meant a bar counter serving drinks and
loads of benches all out in the open, with the music blasting lining the river. At the entrance to the bar, there was a tray full of free shots, well it would be rude not to. Got a can of lager, had a laugh watching people going on the rope swing out into the water. The bar started to fill up and everyone mingled chatting to each other. There was a really nice atmosphere. After a while we decided to move on to the next bar. It was only a short float down the river. Here we got a bucket to share between us for about 4 quid, it was really strong, too. Got talking to one of the girls that worked there. She had a pretty sweet deal, got all her drinks, food, tuk-tuks and accommodation paid for. She'd been there for ages and was sadly leaving. Power to her, I don't think I could of done her job, not with the severity of my hangovers now I've reached old age.
Next bar was really close, so not much tubing was happening, but plenty of drinking was. Had a can of lager and a good laugh. Loads of
people were dancing on this bar, so it was fun to watch. Trying to leave this bar was hard as my tube kept getting pushed back by the waves. I think we skipped the next bar or two and headed down river a bit. Time was marching on and we had to get the tubes back to the rental office by six. We wanted to stay drinking but we also wanted to tube all the way down the river. So we decided to stop at one last bar for a drink. The bar was good and there was mud wrestling going on, I think if I recall correctly. We also decided to get some cans for the float back down the river. So armed with alcohol we headed back to our tubes and started to float down river. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and it was really peaceful, a complete contrast to the bars we had visited earlier. It was funny to see signs saying get out here if you want to get a tuk-tuk as it is your last chance. The journey took about an hour and we were quite cold by the end of it. We didn't really
know where the end point was as it was really quite on the river and we didn't see many other people. So when some kids jumped into the water and dragged us to shore we were pleased and they definitely earned the few thousand kip they received.
As soon as we hit dry land and put our clothes on, because it is really disrespectful to walk through town in your swimwear, the heavens opened. We got completely soaked. We took our tubes back to the shop, we made it with 10 minutes to spare. We were absolutely famished by this point, as we hadn't eaten since breakfast. There was a woman with a baguette stall set up within the grounds of the tubing office. Oh my god! The chicken and cheese baguette I had was absolutely divine. I could have eaten about 6 of them. One of the best meals of my trip. While we were standing around scoffing our baguettes, we had a right laugh at the other people turning up in tuk-tuks and racing into the office to return their tubes by six, so they wouldn't get fined.
We headed back to the hostel, got showered and warmed up, and then zonked out in bed for a few hours. Woke up around nine and we headed out. I had a burger in this random chilled out bar / restaurant that we went to. Then we headed down to the bars by the river. It was heaving with everyone from the day's tubing. But I wasn't really in the mood, as having stopped drinking and having a nap had left me feeling knackered. So we headed home around midnight.
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