Another town you can’t miss when backpacking Laos. Be prepared though, party hardy is nothing compared to the way they roll over here.
With all the crazy partying and getting fucked up, keep in mind there is no hospital, not in this town, or in the next. And when you do reach a hospital, doctors aren’t as motivated to save your life as they might be in the Chigago or Seattle ER, besides lacking knowledge. 2011 counted 27 deaths, not to speak of all the injuries.
The booze flows faster than the Nam Song, and the many swings and ziplines invite the drunken crowd to get crazy around this sometimes deceitful shallow, sometimes strong flowing river.
Then there is the infested water; no doubt you’ll catch something, ranging from an eye infection to a bad poisoning.
The many temping mushroom shakes or happy pizzas aren’t without risk. You might have a fun few hours, if you do well on drugs. You might also get set up by the bartender who sold you the stuff, and then sold you out to a cop, out to bust your high balls and throw you in jail for who knows how long, or fine you with a sum you could never pay.
So much for scaring you into sanity.
Vang Vieng, tubing capital, where the fun never ends
You’ll walk the distance of this town in 20 minutes, with your backpack on, this is.
To get out to the river you take a tuktuk at 25.000 kip per per person.
To go to Blue Lagoon or just to explore the beautiful landscape, rent a bicycle.
Think twice before renting a bike: you’ll get yourself injured or damage the vehicle, and that’ll cost you!
It’s a well known scam put on tourist: to damage or steal the vehicle they just rented out to you, and demand a raging high compensation.
Or to just say those scratches that were already there, are new. Take pictues of those before you agree to the rent.
You could rent a tire for 60.000 kip, take it to the river in a tuktuk and float down until you have to return it at 6pm, or otherwise have to pay that 50.000 kip late-fine.
I was there in dry season, I didn’t bother. I swam the river that one time when I wanted to cross it to go as far as bar 3. I saw about 5 tubes going by the whole time I was there.
Just go to the river, have drinks, play games, dance, and have fun. Like everybody else does, all day, every day.
Do, absolutely, rent a bicycle to drive the 7 kilometers to the beautiful waters of Blue Lagoon.
And take the detour across the fields to that little hill.
The cave up at Blue Lagoon is a good adventure on it’s own.
Climb the little hill with the yellow flag atop it. The climb is so worth the view!
If you’re into serious climbing, there should be numerous rock-climbing options around here.
There are countless joints where you can sit down in your own little heightened cube cross legged around a low table, enjoying the many tasty local dishes.
Easy: river at day, island at night.
Easy Go Hostel is ran by the friendliest of local dudes, hosts many cute rooms in their bamboo house, supporting you you with complementairy coffee, tea and bananas every day for just 30.000 kip a night.
Spicy Laos Hostel is right next to it, and should make for a good second and pleanty of compny. Also 30.000 kip a night.
I personally wouldn’t spend more than a few days here; too little local culture and too much party to stand for any longer.
But good fun for the time being! Just let go off all your mum taught you and enjoy =)