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“July 2013 - 4 bars along river!”
Review of River Tubing

Alkmaar, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
29 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“July 2013 - 4 bars along river!”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

Even though it was nothing like the YouTube videos show in it's past glory days, I still really enjoyed this experience. For such a cheap price, 60000kip to rent the tube and some down payment you get back, it was still well worth it. We only stopped in Vang Vieng for 1 day, just for the tubing.. so glad we did!

I could have gone up and down the river a few times. DEFINITELY stop at the 2nd bar on the right hand side. It's the best one currently!

Visited July 2013
Thank Rachel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
384 reviews
242 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
“New pubs along the river!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Although many of the riverside bars have been closed and the town is a shadow of its former glory, tubing is still the mainstay of the town Vang Vieng. As at July 2013, there are two new pubs that have sprung up along the riverside. They offer sports and other drinking games for Foreigners to meet up and mingle. The two pubs are located at the start of the tubing point. Failure to return the tubes by 6pm will result in a penalty, so give 45 mins of tubing during the wet season to be swept down to the rental place. Of course, there are also other drop point where you can stop at to have the tuk tuk transport you back to the town. This will incur an additional charge.

Visited July 2013
Thank Malcolm_See
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stavanger, Norway
Level Contributor
69 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“This was just so cool”
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Yes, I heard it was better before. And yes, I was disappointed to learn that the zip lines and the big waterslide has been removed, and that most bars are closed.

But man, what a scenery! Its breathtaking. Bring a waterproof bag (you can buy them anywhere in Vang Vieng) with a camera, cash, and maybe a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts/a sarong to wear over your swimsuit when taking your tube back and in the bars. Lao people in general do not like men walking around topless or girls in skimpy shorts and bikinitops, and I think its important to be respectful when in a foreign country. I had a halterneck full swimsuit and a pair of shorts, and I didn't get any looks.

The best bar is the one where they throw out a plastic bottle for you to catch, and then they look after your tube while you play and drink. You can play basketball, toilet facilities are ok, and the kid (5 years old girl!) who runs around there (her family runs the bar) is just too cute. The bar attendants are so friendly and interested in talking, and if you have a delicious mojito too much they kindly tell you to wait a bit and drink some water before you continue tubing ;) Free laolao is daaaangerous stuff... And the drinks are cheap. They also offer food and snacks, cheap.

I met lots of new friends doing this, and the scenery is as said fantastic.
I broke a toe doing this (got stuck in driftwood and climbed out of my tube and then kicked really hard, straight into a sharp rock, to get loose - ouch). So be careful, hehe! Still totally wort it :D

The tubing down the river takes about 3 hours in average, and when you rent the tube you can borrow a life jacket if you want, but if you can swim ok its not necessary, the river floats slowly, at least in early season. You need to sign a consent form saying you are responsible for everything and if you die/hurt yourself the company can not be held liable ;) Renting of a tube and a tuk-tuk to the dropoff point is about 8 USD. CHEAP. If you loose your tube or don't return it before 6 p.m. there is a 7 USD fee.

I had a GREAT day doing this. Despite the fact that people said it was more fun before, I think it was fun anyway. So just DO IT! :D

Visited May 2013
2 Thank NinaIH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Awesome day! But keep your wits about you...”
Reviewed July 13, 2013

I can see how so many people have come into strife doing this, but if you are wary of your surroundings you should be fine. We went a couple of days ago in rainy season, the river is quite swift. We went in a group so made sure we grabbed each other if they floated off when trying to get to a bar or exit the river, as you can't paddle well in a tube! There are a few bars still going, so if you wanted to party you still can but it's probably no where near as mental as it once was. If you read the other reviews, you will know to watch out for the submerged rocks! Also there was a moored barge near the exit RIGHT in the middle of the river. Safety is lax in Laos. Take a lifejacket, keep an eye on your surroundings, pace yourself and you will have a great time!!

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Lauraarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, Australia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

Unfortunately the tubing is CLOSED now, you can still float down the river but there are no bars, swings, slides etc on the way. Vang Vieng is a pretty boring town now that will only go downhill furthur now the tubing is closed. I would probably not recommend going there.

Visited January 2013
4 Thank jacquihawthorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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