Along the Indochinese peninsula is Laos, a landlocked nation surrounded by China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Burma. Laos, especially its capital city, Vientiane, is rapidly becoming one of the most popular traveler destinations the world over. Thanks to a boom in the construction industry, the country has seen a steady increase of visitors over the last several years.
While Laos boasts many activities for the enthusiastic visitor, one in particular has become popular of late with both foreigners and locals alike – tubing. Recreational tubing – which can be done in Laos on water, over snow or in the air – is especially popular in Vang Vieng.
Situated between Vientiane and Lung Prabang and surrounded by breathtakingly green mountains is Vang Vieng. The area continues to draw in hundreds if not thousands of visitors, both new and returning. Hiking and mountain biking are popular in the area, but it’s tubing that’s begun to attract the most visitors of late.
Depending on your pleasure, Vang Vieng tubing can be a great way to relax or a great way to get your heart pumping. Some people go just to celebrate with friends and or party on the weekends when they’ve got some free time.
There are stipulated time periods when visitors can engage in tubing, mostly reliant on low water levels to create currents that are steady but fast. Usually during the months of May to mid October lots of people come out to socialize and tube. It usually takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete the roughly 3 kilometer rush downstream.
There are several companies offering tubing activities along the river bed. The tubes can be rented from about 11 in the morning until later on in the evening. Renting the tube costs roughly $8, and some rental companies require a deposit refunded afterwards. These companies also offer water proof bags to carry your belongings with (i.e. phones and cameras.)
In order to really enjoy your tubing experience and remain safe, you are advised to follow a set of instructions that includes eating a few hours before tubing, wearing a life jacket, ensuring that your bag has no tears and keeping your eye on your tube and other personal belongings.