That's right people! It's the most important day in the world, a day when hundreds of thousands of Australians get together to celebrate one thing - Chinese New Year!! I hope you are all busy throwing lettuce heads at dragons.
Today we are taking it easy after our tubing escapades of yesterday. My god, I cannot describe how crazy it was. You think tubing down a 3km stretch of river and you think serene mountain scapes, drifting waters, waving children etc. But no, in fact we barely made it 1km down the river, as we were lassoed by bar owners and distracted by the bucket cocktails and flying foxes and rope swings and dancing bikini girls (I can only take so many exposed bum cheeks) and blaring dance music and crazy craziness. We met nothing but Australians all day, and I liken it to spring break madness. At the last bar there was a massive bonfire, which was handy as we were all freezing by this stage. From there we grabbed a tuk tuk back to town with 6 other party goers, which cost us a whopping 10,000 kip each. The driver knew we were in no position to argue.
If Paul and I hadn't tagged along with some nice Sydney girls we met, we may have made it the whole 3km.
The tube hire place has a sign warning you about the costs involved, there were skulls and crossbones on there. So the tube costs you 55,000 kip, then there is the 60,000 kip deposit. You get all of this deposit back if you return your tube by 6pm (this is rare) and if you're late, you cop the 20,000 overtime fee. You can hire a dry bag for 10,000, but you need to leave a 50,000 deposit. We baulked at the deposit costs, but now I fully understand why they're so high. People get sooooo drunk that tubes and bags must go missing all the time. In fact as we lined up to hire our tube, we were entertained by multiple "LOST" posters on the wall. Lost: one nikkon camera, $100 reward, no questions asked. Lost: one pair of shoes. Lost: one mobile phone, one camera, one shoe and one bikini top. Good times!
Paul and I only got two drinks between us, one of them a bucket, so we were only completely drunk. Prior to drinking, however, I found myself climbing ladder after ladder up to a rickety bamboo platform, and shortly after swinging on a rope swing which hung from a massively tall crane-like pole which may as well have been constructed from paddle pop sticks. Aiming to avoid rocks in the river whilst completely airborne is really hard! I only screamed a little bit. Paul assured me he was watching but I don't know.
So that's tubing in Vang Vieng. I'm considering doing it again, this time with no stops at the bars, and making it the whole 3km back to town. Apparently the bars are only along the first kilometre, so the rest of the trip should be quite lovely...
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