Here they are. All the things you need to know from someone who has been there before. Follow these tips and you’re sure to have an awesome day or two or seven in Vang Vieng.
Vang Vieng zipline
Lather up! Tubing starts early and goes until the sun goes down. This also saves you from waking with a burnt stencil spray paint of “I Heart Vang Vieng” on your body.
Like I said, tubing goes most of the day and food options at the river are scarce, so fill up street cart burgers with a side of banana before grabbing an inflated tire. Also, it doesn’t hurt NOT to drink on an empty stomach although doing so could “enhance” the experience. Filling up beforehand may help with your endurance. Just a thought
Don’t Bring Valuables
Let’s be honest here. You’re going to be drinking, a lot, so leave the iPhone and anything else you want to survive back in the safety of your room. You’re going to be dancing, swimming and jumping in and out of the river so drunk texting is even more unnecessary than normal. And if you don’t have it, you can’t possibly brake it or, more likely, drown it. Speaking of which…
Get a Dry Bag
You’re going to need money for a mojito and a plethora of buckets and you just might want to document some of the nonsense going on around you i.e. your buddy’s rendition of “Call Me Maybe”, so a dry bag makes perfect sense. You won’t have to pay with dripping money, though they probably wouldn’t turn you down, and you can flip through videos and pictures with friends and reminisce after the fact like the Hangover.
Go Barefoot or Bring Cheap Flip Flops
Losing your sandals is… highly likely. You realize they’re no fun to walk in the river with and that they are cramping your dance moves, so you take them off and place them safely to the side… never to be seen again. If you must bring some, think about grabbing some cheap ones that are sold on every corner. That way, you won’t be upset when your precious rainbows are nowhere to be seen.
Don’t Wear Your Favorite Boardshorts
You will be get a stenciled spray paint “I heart Vang Vieng” on yourself and you will like it. The cans of paint are everywhere so just plan ahead accordingly.
The Actual Tube is Sometimes Optional
I know what you are thinking. How can you tube without a tube? The bars line a short stretch of the river and you can float from one to the next, swim across (Only if you’re a competent swimmer. Seriously, don’t be an idiot), or simply just use the bridge. Just don’t swim under any zip-line or rope swing. Stay aware and use common sense. A more thorough answer to this question found here
Courtesy of Flickr User tommytastic
Check Before you Jump
As fun as tubing is, it can also be dangerous. Jumping in the river is a highlight of tubing, but make sure you a) know where any rocks are… beforehand b) check for scribbled warning signs or c) listen to the guy handing you the zip-line. Now doesn’t that make a whole lot of sense?
Thousands go through Vang Vieng and rave about it for weeks and months on end. You want to be one of those too. Have fun but don’t go over the top. By now, you should know your limits when it comes to alcohol, unless you’re a 15 year old girl. In that case, have a friend keep an eye on you. Disclaimer: We do now endorse 15 year old girls drinking copious amounts of alcohol