Lucid Tubing – Vang Vieng, Laos

I really enjoyed Vang Vieng but when it was time to go, it was really time to go. I did end up doing the tubing but didn’t partake in the party aspect of the experience. It wasn’t a hard decision to make especially after I arrived at the scene. A picture of gross debauchery, I was happy to keep my head about me among the stupidly drunk (sometimes downright dangerous) westerners. I think I may be one of the few people who actually make it back to town in their tube. Most, as far as I can tell, have to be taxied back in droves from the riverside bars at the end of the day. Many barely able to stand up safely, much less float down the river for hours in their inner tube.

I really enjoyed the ride although by the end three hours later, I’ll admit I was eager to reach the shore. I certainly appreciated the stretches of river I covered with no one else in sight. No kayakers, no tubers, no motor boats, no swimmers. Just me and the birds. I admired the nature which included some little goats grazing in the tall grassy banks. A little local boy playing solo in the trees yelled and waved at me excitedly. The water was not as cold as I thought it would be and the sun kept me warm. I used my new fake (they just CAN’T be genuine for only two dollars) Croc flip flips as paddles to get me to town before the sun hit the tops of the rounded limestone tree covered peaks.

When I finally pulled in, I was pretty proud of myself for making it the whole way. I forced down some of the worst Laap ever made while watching the sunset over the clouds of smoke. They were burning the grass across the river and it made for quite an interesting show. I was glad the wind was blowing away from me but the smell of burnt grass was still quite overwhelming. I turned in for a relatively early night in preparation for the long bus ride up the country I would be embarking on.

Grateful for safety first.

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