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Why Tubing in Vang Vieng is special ?
Vang Vieng was often touted as the ‘Party Capital of South East Asia’. The gentle pastime of floating down the river in old inner tubes unwittingly transformed the once peaceful farming village of Vang Vieng into a well-established backpacker hotspot.
Tubing is THE place to sit in an old decrepit rubber ring, float down a beautiful river. You had to have a time at least 3 hours without doing anything . Just tubing and chilling down here with beautiful sight-seeing. There are several bars to stop at along the way.The river itself is beautiful, scenery is gorgeous the water shimmered. It is extremely clean and at no point did it feel dangerous
The cost of hiring a tube is 120,000 kip (around $15) and depending on what time you return your tube you will receive a certain deposit back, provided it’s before 8pm.
What to explore at Tubing in Vang Vieng?
The tube rental from the office in town is very easy and relatively inexpensive. There were constantly trucks heading from the rental office upriver to start tubing.
You pick up your Ring from Vang Vieng for 55,000kip with a 60,000kip deposit for returning your tube before 1800. The Tuk Tuk still takes you down to the river and you start off tubing and going to the 4/5 bars that are left. Unfortunately there are no more swings or slides. Just good house music, Cheap drinks, Beer Pong, Mud Volleyball (Bar 3) and a good bunch of people that you meet on the way down.
When you see Tubing Ends Here sign, you have to shoulder your tube, cross a bridge and trudge back through town to retrieve your deposit.
- “Best way to spend your day”
- “Don't miss this when you are in Vang Vieng”
- “Great fun, don't get stuck at the bars”
- “Great Way to Cool off”
- “Slow life down to the stream”
Vang Vieng, Laos
Tips for you
If you are thinking about doing river tubing (which by the way you definitely should) then this should help plan your day. We left a little too late (12.30/1ish) and were some of the last to hit the river. This meant we were always arriving at bars as loads of people left (and also meant we arrived back late with our tubes) I would suggest being at the office for about 11.30 so you are on the river by 12. The costs was 115,000kip in total with some conditions regarding deposit....60,000 back for return of tube by 6pm, 40,000 back between 6-8pm and nothing back after 8 or for a lost tube (you may even actually owe them money but I can't remember properly) As long as there are 4 people or more the tuk tuk to the river is free. Again, if you arrive early enough there are a steady stream of people leaving. The river itself was beautiful. We went on a gorgeous day so the water shimmered. It was extremely clean and at no point did it feel dangerous...other than when the kayakers get too close! The first bar was within 5 minutes, which was disappointing in some ways as we were enjoying the ride. The fished us in and we immediately got the drinks in. Great atmosphere and really good music. There was a pier jump (maybe 2m) and was the only place on that day that you could jump in! It was interesting seeing the remains of the tubing 'hay day' like zip line wires etc. but I was actually much happier going along knowing safety is regarded now. Back in the tube and the next bar was again maybe 10mins max. Little bit wobbly getting up the rocky riverbed after the whisky at the first bar but there are staff who help you out. This bar was awesome, mud volleyball and a wrestling beam over a mud bath. What more could you want! The next bar was a bit further and hosted a few beer pong matches. It was clear everyone was drunk but there wasn't anyone too outrageous. The last bar was again a few more minutes down, where we decided it might be best to get some food. We realised the time was 5.10pm and decided we would head off to try and get back by 6....apparently the last leg is about an hour, but who knows! About 20 mins later we came across a boat shed place that said they would get us back for 6pm at a cost of 15,000kip. Due to the fact the sun was down we decided to go for it. The driver was extremely rude and wanted all the money upfront. WHAT A MISTAKE. He took us about 1km down and dropped us off by a load of tuk tuk men where we had to pay again. I wasn't happy that we had basically spent $10 for a few minutes boat journey. We shouted at him and he got extremely aggressive, then actually shoved me off the boat into the shallow waters, which was extremely rocky then tried to drive off with my tube. The tuk tuks started off asking for 15,000kip a person but eventually we got it 50,000kip for 7 of us. However, he then sat and waited pretty much until 6pm before leaving. Not only had we spent the same money as what would have been returned before 6pm but we were late anyway. They are very strict on the 6pm thing so no point even arguing. I wish we had just stayed at the last bar longer and floated down to the tuk tuk men. It's pretty obvious they do whatever they can to make sure you don't get all the deposit back so kick back for a bit longer and just make sure it's back by 8pm.Whatever you do don't bother with the boat! It is a complete scam and ruined what had been an absolutely amazing day! The drinks at bars were generally 15-30,000 depending what you have so its basically up to you how much you end up spending on the day! The average total our group worked out spending was 300,000kip a person! Which in my eyes was money well spent! Even without the alcohol though, tubing in Vang Vieng is unmissable!!!!