Arriving here you could soon tell this was a party town, there were tourists everywhere.  Bars, restaurants and guesthouses up and down the streets. Today Vang Vieng is essentially a backpacker town, the laid back atmosphere and the potential for extreme sports around the area make it a very popular place to stay.  

The airstrip in Vang Vieng was used by the Americans during the war and was at that time named Lima site 6 and then during the 1980’s became popular with backpackers.  One of the main activities to do here now is tubing down the river.  During the wet season the river becomes fast flowing with rapids but like now in the dry season it is shallow and slow-moving.  Ideal for tubing and swimming.

Along the river there are many bars and restaurants most of which have bamboo scaffolding leading to a wire swing over the water.

Okay So we had heard one of the best places to stay here was over a rickety wooden bridge to some bungalows on the other side of the river from town.  After some lunch and a well deserved beer we took the bikes precariously over the dodgy looking bridge to the Otherside bungalows.  50 Kip for one with two beds and a bathroom was not bad.

A quick relax and it was off to the river.  We met up with an english couple we had recently met in Luang Prabang.  Everyone payed what I thought to be an extortionate deposit for their tubes.  I decided not to bother with a tube but upon arriving at the first bar on the ‘tubing’ river I managed to acquire one for free.  Good for me.

The river has a party atmosphere, you tube from one bar to the next where someone will through a line out to you to pull you in.  We made it to the first four or five bars drinking whiskey buckets and getting free shots.  As no one else I saw tried the swing upside down I of course had to give it a try.  Apart from cutting and bruising my ankles it was pretty fun and got the crowd going.

On the night we headed over to an island across a bamboo bridge from the town, a little way down from our bungalow.  Here is where the night life goes on till the early hours.  The bars here were amazing, all built out of wood and bamboo, hammocks everywhere, open fires and music pumping out.  The bucket bar was always the first stop, as before 9.30 you get a free whiskey bucket.

After two days of partying however I hit the wall.  In fact I went through it.  I was a sick puppy for a night and the rest of the next day.  And the day later once recovered and after one last night out we were hitting the road again.  Next stop the capital Vientiane.  I really enjoyed Vang Vieng and almost stayed to work in a bar here for a while, yet after four days It was enough and time to move on.

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