Tubing Escapades in Vang Vieng

I thought I knew all the party hot spots in Southeast Asia until I learned about Vang Vieng.



Earlier in Koh Tao, we met up with one of Marc's old friends from Ottawa. We excitedly told him that after Thailand, we'd be headed to Laos.

"Where in Laos are you going?" he asked.

I told him our itinerary included Vientiane and Luang Prabang.

"What? No Vang Vieng? You NEED to go there," he gushed.

Curiosity got the best of me. "Whats so great about Vang Vieng?" I inquired.

"In Vang Vieng you can go tubing down the Nam Song River. There are many bars along the water so you can stop at all of them for drinks and parties. It's absolutely nuts."

There was no way I was going to miss out on a wild tubing day party! After a few days in Luang Prabang, we peaced it to the tiny town of Vang Vieng and jumped into tubes.



There was no way I was going to let my fractured hand get in the way of my adventures. I slapped on a plastic bag and down the river I went.


Before we knew it, we were at the first bar.




Dance music pulsated throughout the area while backpackers slurped on cocktails. The bf and I grabbed a beer to catch up.



Not going to lie, I was expecting an off the charts party here but it was pretty tame.

Before arriving in Vang Vieng, I did some research and turns out the parties used to be a lot more wild a couple of years ago. Apparently, a few tourists drowned which led to the government cracking down on the raging party scene. Many bars have been shut down since, which is a shame. :(

Once the beers were chugged, we hopped back on our tubes and continued the journey.






The scenery around us was captivating. Untouched mountainsides were carpeted with rich forests. The river was also so serene. It was relaxing to float down such calm waters.

The second bar emerged and brought me back to reality.





Travellers played volleyball while others mingled under the sun. Although the place had an enjoyable and chilled out atmosphere, I still wondered how crazy Vang Vieng was before the government intervened.

I'm sure the parties are more energetic during high season (November to May). I think Marc and I went at a bad time considering September is rainy season. If you're ever in Laos, I'd still recommend paying a visit to this picturesque town. There are also four bars still in business along the river so you'll find plenty of places to have fun at.


The late afternoon crept up on us after the second bar.  Sadly, it was time to go back and return the tubes.





Back on land, we changed out of wet clothes and set off to explore the rest of town.





Have you ever seen more spectacular landscapes? The sun slowly disappeared behind the looming mountains. The sky glowed an eerie lilac and baby blue colour. It was the perfect end to our exciting time in Laos. 

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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