Recently on Australian television there were two different programs on separate channels (on the same night might I add) talking about the dangers of tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos. One even entitled their story: “Death in Paradise.” The programs come after a number of young Australian deaths in the past few months in different parts of South East Asia.
I have been tubing and I know that it can be dangerous. A cocktail mix of alcohol and water activities can definitely result in injuries or worse. But if you look after yourself I think that you can have one of the best days ever. I certainly did. So here it is: my tubing adventure.
The Tubing Adventure Begins
I got dressed in my sexiest fluoro outfit and headed for the tubing office at around 1:00pm. We got our tubes, got in the tuk tuk and settled in for the ride to the beginning of the bars.
We floated, drank, floated, had spray paint sprayed all over our bodies (FYI, proceed with caution when it comes to this stuff, it does not come off easily) and floated some more before hitting the last bar and picking up a Beer Lao for the ride to the end. I have to say, at that moment, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.
The Tubing Rocky Road (River)
Then it got dark. And I was all alone. And I maybe had visions of myself still floating in the morning. Luckily one of my friends was behind me, so I held onto a bridge and caught up with her. Then we met Scott, an Australian living in Ho Chi Minh City, who kept telling me to relax and enjoy myself. Sure Scott, I’ll relax, once we’re on dry land again maybe.
Finally we saw the lights for the last bar, and I thought yes, we are saved. Or not. We yelled at the rope throwers but they kind of didn’t see us so we ended up floating passed the end. So we continued floating and found another lost soul along the way, who joined the group. Then a miracle happened. I kid you not, my friends. We ended up hitting a shallow rock bed, where there just happened to be some Laotian kids waiting for us. They grabbed our tubes, held our hands and helped us walk across the rocky bank to DRY LAND. After giving them a tip and asking a few times, “where are the tuk tuks”, they pointed to the right and walked back down to the river to find some more people to save.
The Tubing Happy Ending
So we started walking to the right, hoping that we would stumble upon a tuk tuk any moment now, when after a few minutes we realised we had made it all the way back into town. Who would have thought? We said goodbye to our companions and proceeded to drop off our tubes before walking back to our hotel. When we got back other people from our group were talking about their adventures. But we definitely floated for the longest; just saying.Photo source