Tubing in Vang Vieng

The infamous tubing in Vang Vieng

When I’d previously mentioned that I’d be travelling Laos to people of a similar age group, the first thing they would tend to ask was if I’d be going tubing in Vang Vieng. Tubing in Vang Vieng basically involves floating down the Nam Song river during the day, surrounded by gorgeous scenery whilst stopping off at various bars drinking yourself into utter oblivion.

Over the years, I had read news stories and heard some rather interesting tales of the day-drinking phenomenon. Previously there had been a lot more bars open and tubing-related deaths were not uncommon. However the Laotian government made some huge changes in 2012, making tubing much safer and more controlled. With these recent changes, I was keen to check it out myself, despite the negativity surrounding it in the press. And as a Brit who enjoys the occasional (ahem) day drinking session, there was no denying that a day spent on a river stopping off at bamboo bars for frozen vodka slushies sounded tempting to say the least.

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The Kuang Si Waterfalls

The incredible Kuang Si waterfalls in Luang Prabang

After spending a good few weeks in Thailand it was time to enter Laos, and I was pretty excited to say the least. I had looked forward to beautiful landscapes, learning about a new culture and getting involved in the vast amount of activities on offer (including the infamous tubing in Vang Vieng!)

After a two day slow boat journey through Laos, we finally ended up in Luang Prabang. The cultured city is renowned for its world class French food, its atmospheric night markets and the gorgeous Kuang Si waterfalls. On our second day in Luang Prabang, we decided to visit said waterfalls. I had seen friends’ photos of the falls and had seen posters of them plastered all over the town, but I was absolutely blown away as soon as I set eyes upon them.

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Pai Canyon

Chilling out in Pai

A three hour drive from busy Chiang Mai, the relaxed hippy town of Pai in Thailand is a much more laid back affair. When people have asked me what there is to do in Pai, I have to stop and think for a bit as nothing really springs to mind immediately. We stayed for 6 nights and spent a lot of our time relaxing, eating (of course) and exploring the small town and its surroundings. To be honest after a lot of crammed days and late night partying in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, some chill time was very much welcomed!

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