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Laos!

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1. Posted by markp90 (Budding Member 16 posts) 5y

Quick question,

Has anyone done the tubing in Laos? If so, how did you get to Vietnam from there and if not, where and how did you return to Thailand?

Cheers

2. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member 328 posts) 5y

Easiest way to get to Thailand is to go from Vang Vieng to the capital, cross the border by shared taxi to Thailand and take overnight (sleeper class) train from there.
To Vietnam there are two roads "near" Vang Vieng - one in the north or one in the center of the country. Wikitravel will go you good info on these border crossing, etc.

Some people hate tubing and Vang Vieng because it has nothing to do with Laos and it's full of drunk and stoned people doing crazy things. However, if this is what you are looking for, it's actually fun. Tubing starts a few kms from Vang Vieng, you can rent tube and transport to get to starting point in town. Theoratically, you are supposed to float down back to VV, however most people don't make it any further than a few bars along the river. So, therefore it doesn't make sense to rent a tube. You can just ask the driver who picks up tube passengers to take you there for a fee. You can start from the first bar and slowly swim down to the next. Be careful, the river has sharp rocks all over the place and many people get injured. Same thing applies for those who jump from trees totally wasted.

Have fun! :)

3. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 5y

Tubing in Laos, the most dangerous thing I've done in my travel life... actually, it was the most stupid. But definitely, no regrets, I lived in that moment, call it lame, but it's YOUR THING, do it!

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3713 posts) 5y

I really enjoyed the tubing as it's a nice, relaxing way to spend a few hours and some of the scenery along the river is stunning. Vang Vieng itself isn't very nice - it's full of backpackers watching re-runs of Friends and Family Guy.

From Vang Vieng we got the bus to Vientiane and from there we flew to Hanoi with Vietnam airlines. The bus journey on that route takes 18 hours and is notorious for breakdowns and delays.

5. Posted by CanadaGuy (Respected Member 199 posts) 5y

I kinda enjoyed Vang Vieng - but it all depends on your attitude.

While I agree with bex's comments above- the experience with the tubing, the river bars, and the continuous Friend's DVDs is different than the rest of experience in Laos- I just took it for what it is.

I was in Laos for about 5 weeks, as part of a stay in SE Asia for about 4 months- and a couple days in Vang Vieng was fine. But if that's all I did , and didn't experience some great trekking near Luang NamTha, or amazing times in Don Det or Luang Prabang or Nong Kiaw, then I would have a different attitude.
Yes, it is not a great slice of Lao culture, but for a couple day... I'd say have fun-- but be smart and be safe.

Take care.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Jul-2011, at 07:22 by CanadaGuy ]

6. Posted by stoneman (Respected Member 216 posts) 5y

I did the tubing last year. It was the only reason why I stopped over in VV. I booked my transport via van through my hotel. I was picked up from my hotel and taken to where the van was leaving from. Best option IMHO. The van drops everyone off at the same place in the centre of Vientiane. Local transport is waiting for you. I shared a vehicle with 2 other guys but I'm pretty sure I paid less than them for my ride as I bargained the driver down.

I walked from my GH to the bus station and took the bus to the Thai border. You get off the bus to go through customs then get back on the bus which takes you over to the Thai side. Again local transport awaits.

If heading from VV to Vietnam there are many comments/blogs descibing the bus to and from VN as the bus ride from hell (taking up to 24hrs). I would recommend as suggested, take transport to Vientiane and fly to Hanoi.