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1. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member, 67 posts) 19 Sep '07 11:25

has anyone done this tubing melarky?im goin to laos in a few weeks,any opinions on laos?likes/dislikes?

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3529 posts) 19 Sep '07 12:15

hiya
i went tubing in vang vieng last year - it's great fun! it takes around 3 hours and you can stop for beers along the way at make shift bars on the river bank. it's really lovely scenery along the way too.

Laos itself is stunning - make sure you get the bus from Luang Prabang to vang vieng as the scenery is beautiful. it's a much more laid back country than most of the others in SE asia - you'll love it i'm sure.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3529 posts) 19 Sep '07 14:26

forgot to say - the town of vang vieng itself is not that great - unless you want to watch constant re- runs of Friends! there is some stunning scenery in the area though, and yummy banana pancakes on the main street!
for accommodation I would recommend the Riverside Bungalows - stunning setting.

4. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member, 67 posts) 20 Sep '07 00:23

nice one bexs,sounds really beautiful,lucky i love watching friends,best show of the late nineties;)is it safe to travel by road?

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3529 posts) 20 Sep '07 01:19

route 13 (between Vang vieng and Luang prabang) has experienced some problems with rebels etc but it's very rare for tourists to be involved. i felt perfectly safe. the roads weren't in a bad state either so from that point of view it was fine too.

6. Posted by Beckiboo (Respected Member, 134 posts) 20 Sep '07 02:08

I also travelled Laos and had no problems travelling by public bus. One thing I would say though is that if you don't like heights be prepared when travelling from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng... the bus goes right up in the mountains, almost into the clouds! Plus the driver turns sharp corners are quite a speed I'm pretty scared of heights myself and felt like I was having a heart attack for most of the journey but thankfully we made it ok!

Tubing is great fun, you have to have the tubes back by 6pm, there's no way you can "tube" the whole length of the river in the amount of time you have, especially if you count having beers in the bars on the way, so we got out around halfway and got a tuk tuk back to Vang Vieng. There are tuk tuk's waiting everywhere who will charge a small fortune to drive you back for 5mins but it's better doing that than paying the late fine!

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3529 posts) 20 Sep '07 02:15

yeah - if you suffer from motion sickness, see if you can get seat in the front so you can face forwards. (you get a better view this way too!)

8. Posted by dar egan (Budding Member, 67 posts) 20 Sep '07 05:45

im not great with heights but fuck it i mean feck it its got to be done,thanks girls for your kind input,im flying out in 11 days,gooooowan!

9. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member, 198 posts) 20 Sep '07 11:48

One thing to be aware of on those road in the mountains in Laos- the locals do not seem to be used to travel like this in a bus- They seem to get motion sickness very easily- The bus actually hands out 'barf bags' to most of the locals and I always seemed to sit around a whole bunch that got sick... (and then just toss their bags out the window)..... Quite the memory.. lol

10. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member, 198 posts) 20 Sep '07 11:53

But tubing is a fun way to spend a day.....
Some travelers that I bumped into seem to spend multiple days doing that- there are bars all along the river, and one spot with a big trapeze to jump from-- it is fairly high up and I met a couple people who did get injured- not the greatest combination when you've had too much to drink, so just be cautious.... But I'd at least give it 1 aftrenoon..

Also in Vang Vieng just outside the main area there are some cool caves you can check out, and climb, some great swimming areas, you can spend a great day if you hire a bike and bike around the countyside, and there is some pretty decent rapids for kayaking. The TVs and videos can be a nice change if you have been traveling for a long time, but if you just stay in the main couple streets, it is pretty touristy, and not exactly what I was looking for....