Tubing in Vang Vieng
The tubing experience in Vang Vieng is as follows: You rent a tube for 115,000 Kip (about 15 USD) and if you return the tube by 6pm, then 60,000 of the 115,000 is returned to you, costing you about $7 USD for the day. As you tube along the river (which right now is relatively slow-flowing), tons of bars throw out water bottles tied to ropes and pull you in if you so desire. They staff helps you up the platform and puts your tube aside, offering you a free shot (usually of Lao Whisky - you sometimes have a choice of Vodka, especially if you go with girls who know how with the bartenders). You then get in the tube and continue on your way until the next bar you want to stop at. Several places along the way also carry food that you can consume if you get hungry. Just a little ways past the final bar, there was a tree that had fallen into the river, in the path of the flow of the river, which actually picks up at this point. The river is really shallow, so several people (including myself) got briefly stuck and my tube stayed stuck in tree (someone else had to go back and get it for me!) It was a bit of a scary experience but the point at which the river speeds up is not a very large area, so before you know it, the river is flowing slowly again. I told the owner of my guesthouse about the rough patch and have been warning other travellers so they can be prepared for it! Oh, and I also lost a few bucks and my sun screen in the river, but as you must be aware..DON'T TAKE ANYTHING WITH YOU TUBING THAT YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE! :)
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