Vang Vieng in Laos

Vang Vieng in Laos – Tubing and nature for all ages

Vang Vieng it is one of those places where it seems that those traveling in Laos must go, loved and long awaited by young backpackers but also appreciated by those who are no longer so young but love places immersed in nature and away from city traffic.

In reality, you only need to travel for a while in Asia to discover that Vang Vien is particularly famous among backpackers for its tubing.
For those who don’t know what tubing is, I’ll explain it in simple words. Tubing means an afternoon spent sitting on an inflatable donut that is carried by the current in the river.
Nice huh? I had already done it in Guatemala in Semuc Champey and I would have liked to do it again but here things get complicated.
In fact, in Vang Vieng this tubing is a sort of alcohol marathon riding a donut that floats and flows down the river.
For about two hours you sail the river surrounded by bars where (you are obviously not obliged) to have a drink, a shot, a beer or a spirit and in the meantime have your body covered with fluorescent colors or have something written on your body, phrases more or less elegant (I think there is no need to comment on the photo below).

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Result of the afternoon? At 5.30pm the center of the town is filled with drunk kids covered in writing all over their bodies, telling us how exciting and extreme, obviously extreme drinking, this experience was.
It is therefore easy to understand the reason why this activity attracts thousands of young backpackers who want to have fun, which translates into a country predominantly populated by fit and muscular twenty-year-olds who have 2 cans of beer instead of brains and who at 6.00 pm are already filthy drunks because of this apparently superficial tubing (that’s what they call it and that’s what I report).
I am not a big drinker and I am no longer 20 years old so I refused to take part in this liver massacre especially after what I was told, despite this I inquired about the costs.
Total cost of the operation: $7 for donut rental and to get to the start of the tubing route with pick up and then the necessary to spend at the bar. Considering the conditions in which many return I would say that $30 can be spent very easily.
Eppure Vang Vieng is not just that it’s not just a den for alcohol-obsessed kids and I understood this almost immediately.

Vang Vieng

After a 27 hour bus journey, curves on unpaved roads, 30 degrees outside and a bus without air conditioning I arrived at my destination and I liked what I found from the first moment.
Vang Vieng it is a small village that extends along the bank of a river (Mekong River) and is surrounded by high mountains with irregular shapes. The town seems nestled at the foot of the mountains that dominate with their calm and silent grandeur.
It is worth coming here to breathe fresh, pure air, reclaim large spaces and begin to discover the rural life of Laos.

In fact, if you rent a bicycle, I recommend a mountain bike given the roads, or a scooter you can go to discover the quarries and in particular the furthest quarry Tham Phu Kham about 6 kilometers from the centre, where you can swim and above all cool off after the long ride under the sun.
Along the way you come across tiny villages, you meet women at work, farmers, free cows and calves grazing, children returning from school under the scorching sun. A breath of rural and simple life.
In addition to the long ride, other activities are organized here including canoe, rafting and boat tours.
Then there are those like me who are happy simply sitting at a bar drinking a drink at sunset and enjoying the peace that only immaculate places where time seems to have stopped can offer.

Life in Vang Vieng flows slowly and is very relaxed. One restaurant after another follows one another and invites you to come in, offering comfortable cushions and relaxation areas, all with wifi and tables where you can eat or work, some (or rather many) broadcast episodes of Friends and Family Guy on the screen. Only these two series but at least this way you can be sure that you haven’t missed a single episode.
Alternatively, there are bars or restaurants with pretty good music, in particular I spent a lot of time at Other Side Restaurant (which actually shows Friends in the morning), good food, excellent prices, beautiful view, ideal music both during the day and in the evening.

In conclusion I must admit that despite being a small village mainly populated by 20 year olds, maximum 25, the place is worth a visit.
A bit of relaxation in nature where you can only do what you want because just leaving your room and having a beautiful view repays you for the trip.

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