We survived the night and celebrated this with a day of tubing along the river! Vang Vieng is known for the river tubing- it’s basically like a bar crawl on the water! There are about 20 bars stretched along the river banks, each one trying to outdo the other with gimmicks and drinking games/sports. There’s rope swinging, muddy volleyball, water slides and ziplining! 

Of course I didn't try any of these things as I knew it would be just my luck to dislocate something mid-fun and end up in a funny smelling clinic somewhere. The trick to it is that someone who works at the bar flings out a rope with either a small tube or a bottle attached to catch you before you float past their bar. Great fun! And great skill required by some of these guys as they haul in one drunken tourist after another. We signed up for the tubing at a dodgy looking garage in the town and where then shuttled to the starting point up river in a tuk tuk. 

We were the only girls and we immediately egged on to have some shots when we got there. It sounded like a great idea, until we saw the bottles from which the shots were being served. They had everything from lizards, to wasps and bugs fermented in the yellow liquid! Laos produces a local whiskey, which tastes like rubbing alcohol so I imagine those creatures were in there to give it a bit of a kick… Everyone was also spray painting all sorts of naughty things on their bodies so Chris and I drew ‘Barbados’ down our arms and a trident on our backs :) gotta represent! After a few bug shots we took the plunge and slowly got into the water. 

Let me set the scene for you though; the night before there had been the equivalent of a flash tropical storm (high winds, thunder and lightning) and as a result the river had burst its banks. The water was high and rapid and a few bars had been swept away. We didn't realise this until we got to the bars and someone told us. What did we know? We hadn't seen the river the day before so we couldn't tell the difference. It just looked cold, clay coloured and very very fast! Off we went, holding hands and shrieking like little girls! We were convinced that every little piece of debris was a crocodile coming after us and that we were going to get swept down to Cambodia. We paddled to our first bar and had more free shots! (This was turning out to be very cheap and cheerful! :)) 

We were tubing with a bunch of ‘lads’, which turned out to be the norm in this town, the ratio of guys to girls was always around 8/2!!! Aurgh. 

We made it down the river in one piece, soaking up the unbelievable scenery around us. 

On one side of the river was a small set of mountains which dropped straight down. It was misty at the peaks and it looked so picturesque! When we got to the town we had to make a mad dash to return our tubes in time otherwise we’d lose two beers worth of deposit!! (Everything seemed to be measured in beers or buckets…more on those later!). 

The locals must be bored of seeing a whole flock of tourists stumbling down the street half at 6 pm every night naked and muddy, tubes around their heads/waists/feet! After scrubbing ourselves raw in the shower (we were worried about leaches…) 

We went to the ‘Bucket bar’ for a free bucket of Laos wiskey! Tastes horrible but makes conversation with annoying guys much more tolerable. Everyone here seems to think they’re the most traveled and that they’ve been to the most amazing places in the world! Which I’m sure they have but with there being so many guys they were constantly trying to ‘out travel’ each other…

Chris and I suddenly became very interested in the football matches going on.