Yes, you can do this in Vang Vieng. This is Laos' backpacker party town and famous for 'tubing'!
Vang Vieng is 4 or 5 hours drive north from the capital Vientiane. The town is situated on a river, and a few km's upstream you can 'tube' (as it's known locally).
Tubing in Vang Vieng involves floating down the river in a tyre inner-tube and stopping in at one of the many 'bars' on the river side along the way. The bars are literally on the river side, they throw a towline out to you and pull you in to shore. The bars are more or less the same but with different DJ's and music, and they all have swings and flying foxes you can jump off into the river! Once you're partied out, you just float down the river in your innertube with a cold beer until you reach Vang Vieng!
A WORD OF WARNING: There is no hospital or medical services of any kind in Vang Vieng! I saw many backpackers with broken ribs and other injuries who either fell on rocks or hit the bottom of the river from a swing! Be careful, there is no safety!
There's also many night bars across the river (Smile Bar is the current favorite) that are full of party-goers. In the town the popular bar is the 'Aussie Bar' which is usually open the latest. Bars in Laos must close around 11pm or 12am.. so start drinking early! ;-) over 8 years ago
Just to tempt you, here are some pictures from my trip to Vang Vieng in February
Drinking Beerlao by the river with the Laos country side
The river you tube on (upstream are the bars and slides, and it's wider)
The Aussie Bar - $1.50 Beerlao all day long!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aussie_ian/3311487683/ over 8 years ago
Vang Vieng is the place, and it's certainly in my top 5 of fun things to do. Ever. Put simply, not only is it one of the things you have to do if you're in Laos, it's one of the things you have to do if you're in Asia. over 8 years agoAnswered by richard maddock via Travellr.com
Ian has some words of the wise in his first post. I have heard of people nearly dying (and several cases of people actually dying!) there- booze and bodies of water do not mix. If you are heading to Laos, make very sure you have a medical insurance policy because if you are injured and have to be airlifted to the nearest DECENT medical facility (i.e. Bangkok) , it's going to set you back well over $10,000.
Vang Vieng has some amazing karst rock formations and some amazing caves, and I spent my 2 days there on a mountainbike and in caves. Luckily, I got tubing out of my system as a kid. Safe travels, please!
Here are some photos of my last few trips to Laos (Vang Vieng in there as well)- have a look if you wish.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7930283@N04/ about 8 years ago
I just wanted to add that the husband of a couple honeymooning went missing while they were tubing in VV recently, and the man's body was found the next day. This stuff happens, it is REAL and it can be dangerous. Here is the discussion on another forum, I hope the link works
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293949-i9320-k3106981-Be_careful_when_tubing_on_the_Lao_rivers-Laos.html almost 8 years ago
I lived in Vang Vieng for 2 years and it does happen - mostly in the wet season when the Nam Song is at full flood. The torrents are tremendous and very dangerous. During the dry season it's very tame and flooded with young backpackers who are filled to the eyeballs with cheap BeerLao. over 7 years ago
Ah, Vang Vieng! I recently posted on tubing in Laos which covers the safety aspects, and gives some tips on Tubing Without Drowning http://bit.ly/abTxQE
The things already posted here are all great advice. Go, have a good time, it's a great party, but take care it an be really, really dangerous.
Just one other word of advice, and it applies everywhere not just VV: if you get blind drunk and injure yourself your insurance claim for the medical evacuation might be knocked back. Travel insurance is not a licence to be stupid. It assumes you'll take reasonable steps to ensure your own safety. "I thought it was a good idea to jump off a 10 metre tower while blind drunk and broke my leg." probably won't go down well with your insurer, and you'll be stuck with the medical bill and a holiday cut short.(ps they do check if you were drunk or drug affected!). Please take care. Phil almost 7 years ago
I loved Vang Vieng!!! I went summer 2008 and the view is spectacular! If you are just planning to hang at the bars and not go see caves or tubing be prepared for lots of Family Guy and Friends. almost 7 years agoAnswered by BB via WorldNomads.com
I have personally done this.... but in my case stuck to floating down the river in my inner tube, happy with the relaxed pace and the bautiful scenery. It was the dry season though and there was nothing resembling a raging torrent of water. Neither did I jump from the cliffs or crazy rope swings. So my memory is a great one... and a safe one.
On the flip side, a story this week in the Sydney Morning Herald says that 22 people died last year doing this. TWENTY TWO! (Read it here: http://bit.ly/xneNyq) over 5 years ago
People die doing this all the time. An Aussie guy died last week. If you get really, really drunk floating down the river you are not going to be covered by any insurance and will either have an expensive medical bill, or your parents will have to pay to repatriate your body. over 5 years ago
I live and work in Vang Vieng, and this is the most beautiful place in the world.
Tubing is slowly growing back to what it was minus the swings and slides BUT is the most fun you will ever have :)
Any trip to South East Asia is incomplete without a stop in Vang Vieng.
Just a tip for booking from Thailand they will try to tell you that it is still closed, please do not believe this and talk to fellow backpackers.
VIVA VANG VIENG over 3 years agoAnswered by Moukey VangVieng via WorldNomads.com